Chorshanbe Chorshanbiev, a Pamiri mixed martial arts fighter, could serve up to 15 years in prison over social media posts the Tajikistan government deemed violent.
In December 2021, Chorshanbiev was deported from Russia and detained in Tajikistan seemingly for a speeding ticket.
However, when he arrived the authorities informed him that some of his comments on social media have violated certain articles and codes of the Tajik Criminal Code.
Apparently, Chorshanbiev has made comments like these for over two years. In 2020, he apologized for statements he made in January in retaliation to a Russian opponent calling him a ‘Tajik fighter’.
“What do you mean Tajik? I’m not Tajik. You want to see a Tajik, look in the mirror… I am a Pamiri, written in big letters. Remember that forever.” (h/t The Diplomat)
February 2020, Chorshanbiev commented on social media about the murder of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov, who was killed by security services.
“I urge you to stand up against injustice and against the unjust death of innocent people.”
Last week, some new information was presented to the case.
Yelizaveta Koltunova, a Russian expert from the Institute of Linguistics and Journalism in Nizhny Novgorod, was assigned by the court to examine Chorshanbiev’s statements. Koltunova has testified in favor of the MMA fighter, claiming his statements did not feature any “calls for violence.”
Chorshanbiev is a 26-year-old MMA fighter from Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, Tajikistan. His professional record stands at 6 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw.
He fights in the middleweight division and was on a two-fight win streak before he was deported. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
What are your thoughts on Chorshanbe Chorshanbiev being detained in Tajikistan over his posts on social media?