Blogger Abduqodir Mo’minov jailed in Uzbekistan for more than 7 years for investigative journalism

Abduqodir Mo'minov in court
Абдукадир Муминов в суде Abduqodir Mo'minov in court

Abduqodir Mo’minov, the author of the Ko’zgu Youtube channel and the head of the Oynaga qarang company engaged in journalistic investigations, was sentenced on Friday by Tashkent’s Mirabad District Criminal Court to 7 years and 3 months in prison in a penal colony with a ban on journalism within 3 years. This was reported by the press service of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan.

Judge Sardorbek Sodiqov found Mo’minov guilty under paragraph «a», part 2 of article 141-1 (violation of privacy that entailed grave consequences), under paragraph «a» of part 2 of article 165 (extortion on an especially large scale), paragraph «a» part 4 of article 168 (fraud on an especially large scale), under part 1 of article 189 (violation of the rules for trading of goods or services in a particularly large amount) and under article 211 through article 28 (complicity in giving a bribe) of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan.

The prosecutor had previously asked for 11 years in prison for Mo’minov.

Abduqodir Mo'minov is standing trial
Abduqodir Mo’minov is standing trial

Mo’minov was also ordered to recover material and moral damage in favor of the victims. The victims in the case were 14 people, including several entrepreneurs, and the damage was estimated at 903.4 million soums (about 77.5 thousand US dollars).

33-year-old (born in 1990) Mo’minov was engaged in paid investigative journalism. His YouTube channel had 247,000 subscribers. Read about Mo’minov’s journalistic investigations in my article Are journalistic investigations prohibited in Uzbekistan? The prosecutor asks 11 years for Mo’minov (in Russian).

Recall that all over the world investigative journalism and helping people, including for money, is an absolutely legal business.

Judge Sardorbek Sodiqov sentences Abduqodir Mo'minov to 7 years and 3 months in prison. This and other photos in the article of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan
Judge Sardorbek Sodiqov sentences Abduqodir Mo’minov to 7 years and 3 months in prison. This and other photos in the article of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan

But Judge Sardorbek Sodiqov at the last meeting said the following (I quote from Gazeta.uz): “Abduqodir, if you are not an employee of the internal affairs body, if you are not a prosecutor, for what purpose did you deal with people’s problems and also take money from them?”

All this is very sad. It is hardly worth counting on an acquittal after filing an appeal. But it’s still worth filing the appeal. At least for the sake of an extra reason to attract public attention.

It remains only to wish Abduqodir Mo’minov to endure all the hardships and not lose heart.

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