Shamil Khakimov


"inciting religious hatred”


5 Years Imprisonment

Detained Since:

Feb 26, 2019


Seventy year-old Shamil Khakimov is one of 24 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Khujand and nearby towns in northern Tajikistan interrogated by the Department of Organized Crime Control in late January and early February. After detaining him for eight hours, they seized his personal belongings including his passport. Without his passport, he was unable to access his pension funds to continue the medical care he needed to recover from a recent leg surgery.

Authorities arrested 68-year-old Khakimov for sharing his faith with others. After he was charged, the court placed him in pretrial detention for over six months. In September 2019, the Khujand City Court sentenced Khakimov to seven and a half years in prison. The court also imposed a three-year ban on his religious activity after he completes his sentence. He lost an appeal on October 9, 2019.

In March 2021, Khakimov's original 7.5-year sentence was reduced by two years, three months, and ten days. He was informed via letter that his term was commuted as a result of Tajikistan’s amnesty law.

In September 2021, Khakimov's sentence was reduced another year. His projected release date is now May 16, 2023.

In October 2021, Forum 18 reported that Khakimov's health had deteriorated greatly.  At the time of his arrest, he was still recovering from major surgery.  Now that leg which was operated on is now covered with open sores and is worsening. In addition to suffering from high blood pressure, Khakimov has also reportedly shown symptoms of COVID-19.

Moreover, Khakimov is under severe emotional distress due to the death of his son in September 2021. His son was the only visitor allowed to see him, and Khakimov was not permitted to attend his funeral.

Freedom of Religion or Belief Victims List

Please visit USCIRF’s Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) Victims List to learn more about USCIRF’s efforts to highlight victims who are targeted due to their religion or belief.