Tajik Reporter Says He Was Attacked In Dushanbe

DUSHANBE — A reporter for the Asia-Plus news agency says he was attacked and beaten by unknown assailants.

Abdulloh Ghurbati, a 23-year-old journalist, told RFE/RL on May 12 that two masked men attacked him late the previous evening as he made his way home from a shop.

According to Ghurbati, one attacker hit him on the head from behind and started beating him after he fell.

“I started loudly calling for help and the two left me alone and fled the site,” Ghurbati said, adding that he believes the attack was linked to his professional activities.

Ghurbati said that he had received numerous threats in several phone calls from unknown individuals who threatened him for his articles questioning some of the government’s activities, including efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nusratullo Mahmadzoda told RFE/RL that “necessary measures [to find the attackers] will be undertaken,” if Ghurbati filed an official complaint with police, which the reporter said he had done.

Earlier in April, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued its annual press freedom, which ranked Tajikistan in 161st place out of 180 countries.

According to RSF, conditions for independent media working in Tajikistan have dramatically worsened in the last two years.

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