Tag Archives: Tajikistan

Tajikistan/Germany: Jailed Tajik Lawyer’s Lawyer Flees, Fearing Her Client’s Fate

March 31, 2017

Jailed Tajik Lawyer's Lawyer Flees, Fearing Her Client's Fate

Muazzama Qodirova, a Tajik lawyer, told RFE/RL this week that she is in Germany applying for political asylum. According to RFE/RL, she said “that Tajik authorities had threatened to launch a criminal investigation accusing her of leaking information about her client’s case to foreign media.”

Qodirova is the latest in an ever-lengthening list of lawyers hounded by Tajik authorities based on the clients they represent. In Qodirova’s case, she has been representing Buzurgmehr Yorov, the lawyer whose 23-year prison sentence — handed down in October 2016 after a closed trial — was recently extended by three years.

Yorov, and another lawyer specializing in human rights cases, Nuriddin Mahkamov, were arrested shortly after their most prominent clients: the leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT). The lawyers were accused and convicted of inciting ethnic enmity, calling for the overthrow of the government, support of extremist activity, fraud, and forgery.

http://thediplomat.com/2017/03/jailed-tajik-lawyers-lawyer-flees-fearing-her-clients-fate/

http://www.rferl.org/a/lawyer-jailed-tajikistan-human-rights-attorney-flees-germany/28399757.html

Tajikistan: Jailed Tajik Human Rights Lawyer’s Sentence Extended To 25 Years

March 16, 2017

Human rights lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov

Judicial authorities in Tajikistan have sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov, who is serving a 23-year prison sentence, to an additional two years behind bars.

Yorov’s lawyer, Mavluda Mamatqulova, told RFE/RL on March 16 that the Supreme Court found her client guilty of contempt of court and insulting a government official on March 15 and sentenced him the same day.

Yorov’s wife, Zarina Nabieva, told RFE/RL that her husband will appeal the ruling.

Yorov was sentenced to 23 years in prison in October, after the Dushanbe City Court found him guilty on charges of issuing public calls for the overthrow of the government and inciting social unrest.

At that trial, Yorov pleaded not guilty and called the case against him politically motivated.

He then read out verses by the 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam about fools, which led to the charges of contempt of court and insulting a government official.

Yorov was a lawyer for 13 members and leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), which President Emomali Rahmon’s government labeled a terrorist organization and outlawed in 2015.

http://www.rferl.org/a/jailed-tajik-rights-lawyer-sentence-extended-to-25-years/28373043.html

http://www.rferl.org/a/tajikistan-jailed-human-rights-lawyer-sentence/28371639.html

Tajikistan: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the convictions of lawyers Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Makhkamov in Tajikistan

January 30, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada* expresses grave concern about the convictions of lawyers Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Makhkamov in Tajikistan.

It has come to our attention that on October 6, 2016, prominent human rights lawyers Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Makhkamov were convicted and sentenced to 21 and 23 years in prison, respectively, on charges of fraud, swindling, “arousing national, racial, local or religious hostility” and extremism. They have also been banned from practising law for five years following the completion of their prison sentences.

Human rights organizations believe that both lawyers’ arrests and subsequent convictions are tied to their representation of members of the Islamist Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (“IRPT”). The IRPT was banned by the government of Tajikistan in September 2015 and later declared a terrorist organization.

According to reports, Buzurgmehr Yorov was arrested on September 29, 2015, while Nuriddin Makhkamov was arrested shortly thereafter on October 22, 2015. It has been reported that during his pre-trial detention, Nuriddin Makhkamov was placed in solitary confinement for three days when he went on a hunger strike to protest his arbitrary detention.

Reports have further indicated that authorities systematically interfered with Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Makhkamov’s right to counsel and severely restricted public access to the trials. Moreover, it is alleged that the prosecution presented no credible evidence against either lawyer.

The Law Society of Upper Canada urges the government of Tajikistan to comply with Tajikistan’s obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503476

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503476&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

Tajikistan: Tajik Human Rights Lawyer’s Prison Term Extended

January 6, 2017

Imprisoned Tajik lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov (file photo)

A court in Tajikistan has extended the prison term handed down to a prominent human rights lawyer.

In October, the Dushanbe City Court found Buzurgmehr Yorov guilty on charges of issuing public calls for the overthrow of the government and inciting social unrest.

He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. The court’s decision on January 6 extends his term to 26 years.

Yorov pleaded not guilty and called his trial politically motivated.

Yorov was a lawyer of 13 members and leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, a group that was banned in 2015 as a terrorist organization.

Dozens of party members have been arrested.

Yorov is among at least five human rights attorneys who have been targeted by authorities in Tajikistan in connection with their work, prompting the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch and other rights groups to call for their immediate and unconditional release.

http://www.rferl.org/a/tajik-rights-lawyer-yorov-prison-extended/28217161.html

Tajikistan: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns over arrest of lawyer Jamshed Yorov in Tajikistan

November 10, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concerns over arrest of lawyer Jamshed Yorov in Tajikistan.

Jamshed Yorov is known for representing Mahmadalli Hait, the deputy chairman of the banned opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan. On June 2, 2016, Mr. Hait was sentenced to life imprisonment after a closed-door ruling by Tajikistan’s Supreme Court.

It has come to our attention that Jamshed Yorov was arrested and detained on August 22, 2016, and charged with “disclosure of State secrets” under part 1 of article 311 of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan. Jamshed Yorov informed his family that he was being questioned in connection with the alleged leaked publication of the text of a classified court judgment, concerning the case of Mr. Hait, on the internet.

The Law Society is deeply concerned about these reports. It is our understanding that Jamshed Yorov’s arrest may be as a result of the exercise of his legitimate duties in defending Mahmadalli Hait. We believe strongly that lawyers should be able to exercise their legitimate duties without fear for their lives, for their liberty and for their security.

The Law Society of Upper Canada urges the government of Tajikistan to comply with Tajikistan’s obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/public-statement—the-law-society-of-upper-canada-expresses-grave-concerns-over-arrest-of-lawyer-jamshed-yorov-in-tajikistan-600680381.html

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503335

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503335 (FRANCAIS)

Tajikistan: Lawyers sentenced to 23 and 21 years in prison

October 17, 2016

map

On 6 October 2016, the Dushanbe City Court sentenced lawyers Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Makhkamov to 23 and 21 years in prison. The lawyers were sentenced on a number of charges, including calling for the overthrow of the government, support of extremist activity, fraud and forgery.

Buzurgmehr Yorov was arrested on 29 September 2015. At the time of his arrest, he had just started to represent thirteen senior leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). These IRPT members were arrested by the authorities on various charges on 16 September 2015. The IRPT had been the only Islamic political party legally registered in Central Asia before the Supreme Court of Tajikistan on 29 September 2015, banned the party and declared it a terrorist organization. On October 22, 2015, police arrested lawyer Nuriddin Makhkamov, a lawyer who worked for Buzurgmehr Yorov’s law firm Sipar. Makhkamov, who was also representing arrested IRPT members, was arrested on swindling charges.

At Yorov’s and Makhkamov’s trial, which was closed to the public, the lawyers denied their guilt and argued that the case was politically motivated and related to their defense of IPRT members.

L4L has grave concerns about the situation of human rights lawyers in Tajikistan. In August 2016, a third lawyer representing IRPT members was arrested; Jamshed Yorov. Also other lawyersrepresenting political opponents or taking on politically sensitive cases have been arrested, imprisoned, and intimidated. L4L has repeatedly expressed concerns about this and called for the release of the arrested lawyers. We call on the Tajik authorities to immediately release Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Makhkamov.

Tajikistan Lawyers sentenced to 23 and 21 years in prison

http://presstv.ir/Detail/2016/10/06/487937/Asia-Tajikistan-Court-IRPT-Opposition-Lawyers

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/06/tajikistan-long-prison-terms-rights-lawyers

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-page4.1.tadj161006.htm (FRANCAIS)

Tajikistan: Tajikistan should end massive crackdown on opposition groups, critics and lawyers

September 22, 2016

Human Rights Watch

Within days after Tajikistan’s appearance before the UPR in May 2016, Tajik prosecutors demanded life sentences for four leaders of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), the country’s main opposition party. The Supreme Court pronounced the sentences in the politically motivated cases in June: life terms for IRPT’s first deputy and deputy chairman, 28 years in prison for four party leaders, and lengthy prison terms for eight others.

Since the UPR, the political crackdown against the IRPT and other critics, including dozens of activists, journalists and lawyers, intensified. Authorities have arrested, disappeared, imprisoned, and tortured members of the country’s peaceful political opposition, and have also targeted perceived critics abroad.

Tajikistan accepted the recommendation to respect “the right to a fair trial, including as part of the ongoing trial against the leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan” (118.35). But in fact, it subjected them to a blatantly unfair trial, behind closed doors, marred by serious violations of due process and credible allegations of torture or ill-treatment in pre-trial detention. Tajikistan accepted the recommendations to “provide human rights defenders, including defence attorneys and political figures detained as a result of their political activities, such as [lawyers] Burzurgmehr Yorov, Shuhrat Qudratov, and Ishoq Tabarov and his sons, with fair, open, and transparent trials” (118.67). But in reality, they were detained on trumped-up charges for having attempted to represent the IRPT leaders on trial. On 19 September, only three days ago, a Tajik prosecutor demanded a 25-year sentence for human rights lawyer Burzurgmehr Yorov.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/09/22/tajikistan-should-end-massive-crackdown-opposition-groups-critics-and-lawyers