Tag Archives: Tajikistan

Tajikistan: Tajikistani lawyers harassed, intimidated and imprisoned

May 24, 2017

Image result for Amnesty international

Tajikistani authorities have dealt a major blow to the legal profession through political manipulation of the criminal justice system and repressive legislation, Amnesty International said today ahead of the country’s National Lawyer Day.

A new briefing reveals a raft of repressive government tactics used to intimidate, silence and crush lawyers in the country, punishing them for the legitimate exercise of their professional duty. Over the last two years, the number of licensed lawyers fell by more than half.

“In a country where fundamental freedoms barely exist, where government critics are incarcerated and independent media silenced; lawyers – particularly human rights lawyers – play an essential role in defending those whose rights are under attack,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.

“The government has turned its attention to lawyers and launched an unrelenting assault that has drastically reduced their numbers and limited their independence; and seen those who put their professional duty above fear of reprisal thrown behind bars.”

Amendments adopted in November 2015 to the law regulating licencing requirements for lawyers brought the process back under control of the Ministry of Justice. The number of licensed lawyers has fallen from more than 1200 in 2015, to just 600 today.

Lawyers who defended clients accused of “extremism” have themselves faced increasing state abuse and persecution, including punitive arrest and long prison terms following unfair trials. The families of lawyers have also faced harassment and intimidation from Tajikistani security forces and local authorities.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/tajikistani-lawyers-harassed-intimidated-and-imprisoned/

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/6495-tajikistan-human-rights-watchdogs-condemn-crackdown-on-lawyers

https://www.rferl.org/a/tajikistan-amnesty-lawyers-crackdown-yorov-mahkamov-kudratov/28505124.html

http://thediplomat.com/2017/05/no-justice-for-lawyers-in-tajikistan/

Tajikistan: Travel Ban on Rights Lawyer

May 16, 2017

Fayzinisso Vohidova. © TajInfo

Tajik border guards on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border on May 14, 2017, prevented a prominent human rights lawyer from leaving the country, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. Tajik authorities should immediately rescind the ban on Fayzinisso Vohidova and immediately and unconditionally release three other human rights lawyers imprisoned or detained on politically motivated charges.

Border guards with the State Committee on State Security at the Auchi-Kalyacha border post stopped Vohidova as she sought to travel to Kyrgyzstan. They detained her for eight hours, stating there was a “defect” in her passport and that she “had no right to leave Tajikistan.” In the weeks preceding her stop, Tajik security services interrogated Vohidova several times. She had made critical remarks about the government’s imprisonment of Buzurgmehr Yorov, a human rights lawyer who was sentenced to 25 years following a prosecution and trial that appeared politically motivated.

“Tajik authorities are blatantly violating Vohidova’s right to freedom of movement,” said Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This appears to be part of a pattern to keep critical voices, including Tajikistan’s independent lawyers, from spreading information about the ongoing and severe political crackdown in the country.”

Vohidova, a Khujand-based lawyer known for her human rights and criminal defense work, has long been the target of government harassment and intimidation for taking on politically sensitive cases.

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

http://www.eurasiatimes.org/en/21/05/2017/tajik-lawyer-stopped-at-border/

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)