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Press briefing notes on Tajikistan

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani
Location
: Geneva
Date
: 2 October 2015

Tajikistan


We are concerned about an increasing risk of human rights violations connected with the recent banning of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), and the arrest and detention of more than a dozen of its members since early September.

On 29 September, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan ruled that the IRPT was “an extremist and terrorist organisation” and banned it. This decision followed a long-running campaign of pressure, intimidation and a subsequent crackdown by the Government on the IRPT.

On 17 September, the Office of the Prosecutor General issued an official statement stating that IRPT members were arrested to prevent new terrorist acts and accusing the party of organizing armed groups and instigating violence, including the 4 September attack on a police station, which left 39 people dead, including 14 police officers.

At least 13 IRPT members, including from the party leadership, were arrested and detained on 16 and 17 September. The defence lawyer of several IRPT members, Buzurgmehr Yorov, was also arrested and subsequently charged with fraud and forgery.

The IRPT was the only Islamic political party legally registered in Central Asia and was party to the 1997 inter-Tajik peace agreement.

We call upon the Tajik authorities to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against “terrorism” or “extremism” are fully in line with international human rights law, with full respect for the rights to freedom of religion, opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, and association, participation in public affairs, and the principle of non-discrimination. The legality and conditions of detention must be guaranteed in line with relevant international norms and standards.

ENDS

For more information or media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org).


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