DUSHANBE, June 2, 2016, Asia-Plus --  Two deputy heads of the banned Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) have been sentenced to life imprisonment while several others have received lengthy jail terms.

The Supreme Court of Tajikistan delivered life sentences to the deputy IRPT heads Saidumar Husaini and Mahmadali Hayit on June 2.  

Eleven other IRPT leading members and activists were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 14 to 28 years.

Thus, Sattor Karimov, Rahmatullo Rajab, Qiyomiddin Avazov and Abduqahhor Davlat were sentenced to 28 years in prison each.   

Zubaydullo Roziq was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Muhammadali Fayzmuhammad was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Vohidkhon Qosiddinov and Saididdin Rustam got a jail term of 20 years each.

Hikmatullo Sayfullozoda, editor of the party’s newspaper Najot (Salvation), was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Mahmadsharif Nabiyev and Abdusamad Ghayratov were sentenced to 14 years in prison each.

Zarafo Rahmoni, the only woman in the high-profile trial who worked as a legal adviser to the party’s leadership, was sentenced to two years in prison.  We will recall that the prosecutor demanded she be sent to jail for five years.

The trial that has been held behind closed doors began in Dushanbe on February 9.

IRPT deputy heads Saidumar Husaini and Muhammadali Hayit as well as the party activists Abduqahhor Davlat, Rahmatullo Rajab, Zubaydullo Roziq, Muhammadali Fayzmuhammad, Hikmatullo Sayfullozoda, Qiyomiddin Avazov, Zarafo Rahmoni, Mahmadsharif Nabiyev, Abdusamad Ghayratov, Sattor Karimov and Vohidkhon Qosiddinov stood the trial.

They were arrested on September 16 and 17 after completion of the operation against the armed group of Abduhalim Nazarzoda.

In a statement released on September 17, the Prosecutor-General''s Office noted that they are suspected of abetting party leader Kabiri''s plot, saying that they had been arrested “to prevent more terrorist attacks in the country.”

In all, the Tajik authorities have arrested 23 leading members and activists of the IRPT, alleging their direct involvement into the September 4 attacks’ masterminding.

According to RFE/RL’s Tajik Service , the Supreme Court sentenced Hasan Rahimov, the IRPT head in Khatlon’s Farkhor district to nine years in prison on November 30.   The sentence followed his conviction on charges of terrorism, religious extremism, inciting racial and religious enmity, and illegally possessing weapons.

The ruling against Hasan Rahimov was reportedly the first sentencing for 23 IRPT officials, who have been jailed or placed under investigation since the party was outlawed.

Tajikistan’s Supreme Court banned the Islamic Revival Party as terrorist group on September 29 on the basis of a suit filed by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.  The Supreme Court ruled that the IRP should be included on a blacklist of extremist and terrorist organizations.  The verdict forces the closure of the IRP''s official newspaper Najot and bans the distribution of any video, audio, or printed materials related to the party''s activities.

Party leader Muhiddin Kabiri, who now lives in exile, has rejected the accusations.