Tag Archives: Tajikistan

Tajikistan: The Prosecutor General’s Office began an investigation into the use of torture against a lawyer

August 13, 2019

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Tajikistan has appointed a re-examination of the allegation of torture against lawyer Abdulaziz Abdurahmonzoda: anti-corruption officers knocked out his tooth during his arrest.

https://www.asiaplus.tj/en/node/270998

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🇹🇯 IBAHRI is deeply concerned by the recently published information that a Tajik lawyer Mr Abdulaziz Abdurahmonzoda has been illegally detained and tortured by the operative forces of Tajikistan. Attacks against the legal profession, including unlawful detentions, strongly undermine the lawyers’ ability or willingness to undertake certain cases or represent certain clients, and in turn jeopardize the rule of law and access to justice principles. Prohibition of torture is a jus cogens norm and an absolute prohibition under both Tajik and international law, that cannot be justified under any circumstances.
Given the seriousness of the matter, we therefore call on the Prosecutor General’s Office of Tajikistan to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into these disturbing allegations and ultimately hold responsible persons to account.

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook, 15/08/19)

Tajikistan: Tajikistan Under Review: A Familiar Litany of Human Rights Concerns

July 25, 2019

Tajikistan Under Review: A Familiar Litany of Human Rights Concerns

To put it mildly, the Human Rights Committee has a lot of concerns about Tajikistan. In its concluding observations, a 12-page document, half a page includes an introduction and “positive aspects,” while the remainder catalogs “principle matters of concern and recommendations.”

To those familiar with Tajikistan, there are no surprises in the report. The list of concerns hits all the hot topics: corruption; discrimination; violence against women; problematic states of emergency regulations; ambiguity and overreach with regard to terrorism and extremism; reports of torture; the deaths of prisoners in custody; unfair and closed trials; harassment of journalists, lawyers, activists, opposition politicians; interference of the state into matters of religious practice; and more.

Tajikistan’s last such review, in 2013, was in many ways the same. The areas of difference are down to the examples, not the necessarily the core concerns themselves.

For example, in 2013 the review highlighted the fresh case of Zayd Saidov, a Tajik businessman and politician who announced the creation of a new political party “New Tajikistan” in April 2013 with eyes on contesting the presidential election later that year. He was soon after arrested. In the August 2013 review, the committee noted his case specifically:

In December 2013, Saidov was sentenced to 26 years in jail on a bevy of charges ranging from fraud to rape of a minor. The trial was held behind closed doors. In early 2015, his outspoken lawyer, Shukhrat Kudratov, was jailed for nine years, and then Saidov faced additional charges which resulted in the adding of three years to his sentence.

Jump ahead to 2019. It’s quite clear Dushanbe did nothing but ignore the committee. The 2019 review mentions not only Saidov, but also the leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) and a handful of jailed human rights lawyers.

The period after 2013 marked a significant turning point for Tajikistan’s political climate. The downturn hit its full stride in 2015 with the banning of the IRPT and the persecution of its leaders, their lawyers, and their extended families.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/tajikistan-under-review-a-familiar-litany-of-human-rights-concerns/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/11/submission-un-human-rights-committees-review-tajikistan

https://thediplomat.com/2019/01/fighting-for-tajikistans-jailed-lawyers/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-shukhrat-kudratov

Image result for shukhrat kudratov

Tajikistan: Oral statement to Human Rights Committee

July 1, 2019

Oral statement to Human Rights Committee

Today Lawyers for Lawyers delivered an oral statement during the 126th session of the Human Rights Committee for the review of Tajikistan’s compliance with it’s international human rights obligations. In July 2018, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a submission for the List of Issues for this review, to inform the Committee about the situation of lawyers in Tadzjikistan.

 

Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted the failure of the authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan to ensure that all persons have effective and equal access to legal services provided by an independent legal profession.

Firstly, The legal profession lacks institutional independence. The admission to and the continued practice within the legal profession is controlled by the executive branch. The 2015 Law “On Advokatura and Advocates’ Activities” requires all lawyers to renew their accreditation and go through a new examination process, which must be redone every five years. Since the reform, the number of licensed lawyers in Tajikistan has fallen precipitously. This seems detrimental to access to justice. The process also carries the risk of misuse by authorities seeking to exclude or disbar lawyers.

Secondly, professional rights and privileges of lawyers who are still able to practice law are violated. Lawyers are repeatedly denied access to clients in detention and to appropriate information. Lawyer-client confidentiality and lawyers’ rights to freedom of expression and association are not respected. Furthermore, lawyers involved in sensitive cases are identified with their clients or their clients’ causes. These lawyers have been subjected to intimidation, harassment as well as arbitrary arrests, prosecutions and convictions. Some of them are now in prison after closed, unfair trials, or were forced to flee the country due to fears of reprisal. An emblematic case is the prosecution of Buzurgmehr Yorov, who is serving a combined sentence of 28 years in prison. As a result of these problems, lawyers are unable to provide effective legal representation.

Oral statement to Human Rights Committee

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/11/submission-un-human-rights-committees-review-tajikistan

https://www.rferl.org/a/un-group-calls-on-tajik-government-to-release-imprisoned-rights-lawyer/29985133.html

Tajikistan: ICJ calls for immediate release of imprisoned lawyer

UN committee offers grim view Tajikistan’s human rights record

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/tajikistan/2019/07/d25410/

https://www.dw.com/en/tajikistan-regime-targeting-families-of-political-activists/a-49541709

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzurgmehr_Yorov

Tajikistan: UN Group Calls On Tajik Government To Release Imprisoned Rights Lawyer

June 6, 2019

Buzurgmehr Yorov was one of the very few lawyers in Tajikistan willing to defend people the government considered opponents.

A UN agency is calling on authorities in Tajikistan to free lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov from prison, saying Yorov’s rights have been consistently violated since the moment of his detention.

Yorov was one of the very few lawyers in Tajikistan willing to defend people the Tajik government considered opponents. Yorov was also a vocal critic of rights abuses.

In September 2015, Yorov agreed to represent 13 high-ranking members of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). The IRPT had been represented in the Tajik government until March of that year, when it lost its last two seats in parliament. By late August, a Tajik court had banned the party; then, in September, following an armed conflict between government forces and a group loyal to the country’s deputy defense minister, a Tajik court declared the IRPT an extremist group and arrested the members of the party’s leadership who were still in the country. The authorities never publicly offered compelling evidence to substantiate accusations of links between the mutinous deputy defense minister and the IRPT.

On September 26, 2015, Yorov met with one of his clients. Two days later, he made a public statement saying his client was being tortured. Later that same day, Yorov was taken into custody. On October 6, 2016, a court in Tajikistan found Yorov and fellow human rights lawyer Nuriddin Makhamov guilty of fraud, swindling, arousing national, racial, local, or religious hostility, and extremism, and gave them long prison sentences.

Yorov was put on trial two more times with additional time added to his sentence, eventually totaling 28 years.

https://www.rferl.org/a/un-group-calls-on-tajik-government-to-release-imprisoned-rights-lawyer/29985133.html

WGAD decision on detention Yorov

https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/tajikistan/63795/european-union-and-tajikistan-held-their-7th-cooperation-committee-meeting_en

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/11/submission-un-human-rights-committees-review-tajikistan

Tajikistan: ICJ calls for immediate release of imprisoned lawyer

UN committee offers grim view Tajikistan’s human rights record

https://akhbor-rus.com/-p2321-161.htm (RUSSIAN)

Tajikistan: Fighting for Tajikistan’s Jailed Lawyers

January 23, 2019

Fighting for Tajikistan’s Jailed Lawyers

On September 28, 2015, Tajik lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov left his office to meet with officials from the Ministry of Interior. The head of the ministry’s Organized Crime Unit had summoned Buzurgmehr to his office for what his family prayed might be a simple conversation.

Buzurgmehr must have had an idea of what was to come. One of Tajikistan’s most indefatigable human rights lawyers, he had recently taken on representation of 13 opposition politicians accused by the government — without evidence — of plotting a coup. Just a few days earlier, Buzurgemehr announced that one of his clients had been tortured in pretrial detention and called for a coalition of lawyers to join him in representing the detained politicians. Shortly after this announcement, government officials asked Buzurgemehr to drop the case. He refused.

When Buzurgmehr entered the Ministry of Interior offices on September 28, he was immediately arrested and ultimately charged with forgery, fraud, arousing national, racial, local, or religious hostility, and extremism. A statement issued by the ministry described him as an “attorney-fraudster” and a “swindler.” A few weeks later, a television show depicted Buzurgmehr as an “attorney-fraudster” with stock images of money bags.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/01/fighting-for-tajikistans-jailed-lawyers/

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/tajik-dissidents-attempt-challenge-ruling-class-poland-181026134506650.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/tajik-human-rights-u-s-concerned-puma/29561964.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzurgmehr_Yorov

Tajikistan: ‘Even by leaving us she gave us a lesson’: Fearless rights defender’s death shocks Tajikistan

January 7, 2019

Fayzinisso Vohidova, a prominent Tajik lawyer who was renowned for her preparedness to defend political arrestees and constant criticism of Tajikistan’s authoritarian system, passed away on January 4.

On Facebook, where open criticism of authorities in the Central Asian country is growing rarer and rarer, the outpouring of grief told its own story.

A mother of three, Vohidova was often referred to by her admirers as a “Gurdofarid”, referencing the fearless ancient Persian heroine from the Shahnameh epic Persian poem.

She lost a short battle to pneumonia only a week after celebrating her 55th birthday.

In recent years, Vohidova suffered regular harassment at the hands of Tajik authorities, verbal attacks from regime supporters and a curtailment of her professional activities.

Although she avoided arrest, Vohidova had her license to practise law suspended andcould not leave the country at the time of her death.

https://globalvoices.org/2019/01/07/even-by-leaving-us-she-gave-us-a-lesson-fearless-rights-defenders-death-shocks-tajikistan/

https://www.rferl.org/a/faiziniso-vohidova-tajik-lawyer-who-defended-dissidents-for-decades-dies-at-55/29691242.html?fbclid=IwAR1YtdbURiKj1eXIB8Dyzp_Yi8SwAna6HHSA0cn1Sc4I-pGegxQyvm5UxPE

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/16/tajikistan-travel-ban-rights-lawyer

https://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Tajikistan_-_Tadjikistan/2017/EN_HRL_20170809_Tajikistan_Concerns-regarding-the-travel-ban-against-lawyer-Fayzinisso-Vohidova.pdf

https://rus.ozodi.org/a/29695917.html (RUSSIAN)

Tajikistan: regional conference on the role and protection of lawyers

November 9, 2018

Today the ICJ, in co-operation with the Legal Policy Research Centre and the Union of Lawyers of Tajikistan, is holding a regional conference on the independence and role of lawyers, in Dushanbe.

Lawyers from Tajikistan as well as other countries of Central Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Europe will discuss the legal safeguards that should apply to lawyers to ensure that they can defend the human rights of their clients and the role of bar associations in protecting the security and independence of lawyers.

They will consider the role of committees to protect the rights of lawyers, which have been established within the bar associations of several countries in the region, and how these specialized bodies can work most effectively.

A set of recommendations on the protection of lawyers in the region will be produced following the conference.

https://www.icj.org/tajikistan-regional-conference-on-the-role-and-protection-of-lawyers/?fbclid=IwAR2EuH-u9F2Vw2oqm6GYWbXnPI7Szza22NPfMnA7kBiuSnskIXmLehUr-qg

https://euobserver.com/opinion/143485

http://lprc.kz/en

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(Facebook, 11/11/18)