DUSHANBE, February 25, 2014, Asia-Plus – A court in Dushanbe’s Firdavsi district that considered a case pitting five Tajik creating unions and three separate individuals (D. Abdiyeva, A. Rajabov and H. Rahmatov) against the Asia-Plus newspaper and its editor, Ms. Olga Tutubalina, ruled today morning that the newspaper and its editor must publish a disclaimer and pay 30,000 somoni to D. Abdiyeva, A. Rajabov and H. Rahmatov.

Representatives of a number of diplomatic mission and international organizations accredited in Tajikistan and Tajik media organizations attended the hearing.

We will recall that five Tajik creative unions and thee separate individuals have filed a lawsuit against the Asia-Plus newspaper and its editor Olga Tutubalina in the court in Dushanbe’s Firdavsi district.  They asked for 200,000 somoni as compensation for moral damage.   

The case stems from the article by Olga Tutubalina published in the newspaper on May 29, 2013.  In her article about Tajik intelligentsia, Ms. Tutubalina used citation from Lenin’s letter to Maxim Gorky of September 15, 1919, “The intellectual forces of the workers and peasants are growing and getting stronger in their fight to overthrow the bourgeoisie and their accomplices, the educated classes, the lackeys of capital, who consider themselves the brains of the nation.  In fact they are not its brains but its shit.”

Plaintiffs say the article by Olga Tutubalina insulted honor and dignity as well as reputation of a large social group of people and caused moral damage to them.   

For her part, Ms. Tutubalina said that she did not mean to insult anyone.  At the same time, she insists she has nothing to apologize for.