Tajik Court Sentences 8 to Jail for Treason

DUSHANBE (RIA Novosti) — A Tajik court has sentenced eight people involved in a 1997 armed uprising to between two and 18 years in jail.

Six men were given from 15 to 18 years on charges of coup attempts, treason, organizing illegal border crossings and crossing the border illegally. Two others were sentenced to two years for breaching inviolability of residence rules.

The uprising was led by Colonel Makhmud Khudoiberdiyev, a leader of the People’s Front movement in the 1992-1997 civil war in the Central Asian republic, which killed some 100,000 people. After the war Khudoiberdiyev served in the Defense Ministry, but in August 1997 he organized an armed uprising in southern Tajikistan.

The uprising was suppressed and Khudoberdiyev fled the country. In November 1998, he led a raid on Tajikistan, when over 100 troops and civilians were killed. Media reports said Khudoberdiyev was hiding in Uzbekistan after the raid. On October 11, 2001, he was reportedly shot dead in a row with Sergei Zvorygin, his subordinate.

Dodozhon Ayubdzhonov, 57, received the longest jail term. A light anti-tank weapon and three rounds to it, a Kalashnikov submachine-gun and cartridges were found in a cache in his apartment. Ayubdzhonov said the weapons had been given to him by the Khudoiberdiyev’s supporters in November 1998 when they left the country, fleeing government troops.