Two border guards have got lengthy jail terms for firing at a group of fishermen in the Sughd province.  They have reportedly been charged with misuse of powers.

The Khujand military court has sentenced two border guards -- Khusrav Melikov and Jonibek Irsaliyev -- to 21 and 22 years in prison respectively.   

The sentence has followed their conviction on charges of misusing powers charge.  They will serve their terms in a high-security penal colony, a source at the Khujand military court told Asia-Plus in an interview.

“The court has established that an order on opening fire was given by Jonibek Irsaliyev and Khusrav Melikov opened fire from assault rifle Kalashnikov,” the source noted.    

Recall, a trial of Khusrav Melikov and Jonibek Irsaliyev, who are servicemen of military unit 0215 of the Main Border guard Directorate at the State Committee for National Security (SCNS), began in Khujand on April 3.  

The tragedy took place on January 7.  Relatives of five residents of the Guliston settlement (Isfara district) – Qodirkhon Usmonkhojayev, Abubakr Boboyev and the Rahimov brothers Ghafourjon, Ghufronjon and Mirzobahrddin – have told Asia-Plus that they were fishing in the Syr Darya River not far from the Mahram jamoat, which is subordinate to the northern city of Konibodom.  When they were going to return home several border guards came and said that it was prohibited to catch fish in that area.

The Isfara residents, for their part, reportedly said it was not banned to catch fish in that area and many people have been fishing there.  The men then got into their car and set out.  At this moment the border guards reportedly fried at the car.

As a result, Abubakr Boboyev and Qodirkhon Usmonkhojayev were seriously wound.  Abubakr Boboyev died in a hospital in Konibodom on the same day, while Qodirkhon Usmonkhojayev died on February 21.   

Meanwhile, a statement released by the SCNS Main Border Guard Directorate on January 23 says the border guards fired at fishermen after the latters have attempted to escape.

According to the statement, border guards on a routine patrol stopped the car VAZ 2107 (number plate 3827 KK 02 RT) with five members on board not far from the Mahram settlement on January 7 at 9:20 pm for the purpose of knowing what they are doing in the area located in the immediate vicinity of the border, but the driver tried to escape for unknown reasons and hit one of the border guards.

The border guards reportedly fired a warning shot into the air but the driver did not stop and they were forced to fire at the car.