Khotami, chief spokesperson for Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry, was assassinated. He anchored a weekly program on national TV in which he aired in-depth and reportedly very professional investigative reports on drug trafficking-a huge problem in Tajikistan-corruption, and organized crime.
A group of Tajik journalists that visited CPJ on July 15 said he was highly respected for his professionalism and courage. He had long stated publicly that he expected to be killed one day in retaliation for his revelations about the country’s drug bosses, whose names he broadcast on his program. While the local journalists referred to him as a journalist, Western news agencies did not because he was a high-ranking Interior Ministry official.