Social media users in Tajikistan have caught an education official-cum-ardent supporter of the incumbent president plagiarizing. In his recent article “Why I Am Voting for [President] Emomali Rahmon” [ru] Ilkhomjon Khamidov extolled the country's veteran president who is seeking to secure a re-election in the November 6 vote.

After the article was shared online, netizens were quick to detect that its author had borrowed quite a number of sentences from recent speeches by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. On October 23, Khamidov admitted [ru] that he had used parts of these leaders’ speeches in his article literally and without attribution. A Deputy Dean at the Tajik National University, he apologized [tj] on Facebook, noting that, “young people sometimes makes mistakes”. 

Dozens of netizens have since reacted to Khamidov's confession by suggesting that his doctoral dissertation should also be checked for plagiarized content and that he should be banned from teaching at a university.

Parviz Khamdamov tweets [ru]:

Shame on Khamidov. “Sorry, I am young” – is this an excuse? People like him should be fired by the university and their academic degrees should be revoked.

While blogger Shukufa argues [tj] that this case indicates the ability of social media users to hold the authorities accountable:

This is a good lesson for Khamidov. If you have nothing to say, do not speak about issues that you have nothing to say about. In general, however, this is a very instructive case. It shows that in the age of the Internet and Google, it is difficult for the authorities to [fool] ordinary people. It is so because these people have access to sources of information that the authorities cannot control.