Mirsaidov was accused of embezzling state funds worth around USD 13,500 (11,500 euros) while acting as head of a local comedy troupe that represented the ex-Soviet country in Russian comedy tournaments and was partly financed by the state.
He has maintained his innocence. Rights groups including Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee have raised concerns that he is being punished for challenging local authorities over corruption related to the distribution of funds for the troupe.
Courts in the tightly-controlled Central Asian state are not known for granting appeals. In addition to managing the country's most successful troupe in the Russian comedy discipline KVN (Club of the Funny and Inventive), Mirsaidov is an independent journalist who has written critically of authorities for local and international media outlets.
Tajikistan with nine million people suffered a five-year civil war in the 1990s, and is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index released this year.
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