A man from Tajikistan has been convicted in court and fined for celebrating his birthday with a party in a cafe.
The man, Isayev Amirbek, visited the cafe with some of his friends. The group apparently had a birthday cake and they posted photographs of the event onto Facebook, in contravention of controversial laws that ban the celebration of birthdays except in cases where it is done with close family members privately. The 25-year-old argues that he cannot afford to pay the fine, which amounts to more than $600, and will appeal the decision in order to reverse the decision of the judge.
Amirbek insists that he wasn’t holding a birthday party. Instead, they were simply in the cafe to enjoy each other’s company and had only bought the cake on the spur of the moment. Even evidence from a waiter serving the group could not sway the opinion of the judge, who dismissed his testimony that no one had congratulated Isayev Amirbek on his birthday during the time they were in the building.