OCTOBER 2, 2019
On September 10, 2019, the Khujand City Court in Tajikistan sentenced Brother Shamil Khakimov to seven and a half years in prison for merely sharing his religious beliefs with others. Jehovah’s Witnesses are appealing this case.
Brother Khakimov’s ordeal began in early 2019. On February 26, authorities arrested 68-year-old Shamil, charging him with “inciting religious hatred.” Afterward, the court placed him in pretrial detention, which eventually was extended for six months. In addition to dealing with this unjust prison term, Brother Khakimov suffers from high blood pressure and is still recovering from a medical procedure.
This is the first time one of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been imprisoned in Tajikistan since 2017, when 18-year-old Daniil Islamov was given a six-month prison sentence for refusing to wear a military uniform. Tajikistan is now one of five countries that have imprisoned at least one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The other four are Eritrea, Russia, Singapore, and Turkmenistan.
We pray that Jehovah will continue to supply Brother Khakimov everything that he needs to endure this trial.—Romans 15:5.