UN experts critical of Tajikistan’s implementation of civil and political rights treaty

Press release
en ru

Dushanbe-Paris, 31 July 2013

UN Human Rights Committee has issued a long list of recommendations with critical remarks directed at the government of Tajikistan. The Concluding Observations follow the review of the second periodic report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) submitted by the government of Tajikistan to the Committee.

Many recommendations echo concerns raised by a Coalition of NGOs of Tajikistan and FIDH during the Committee’s 108th session, held in Geneva in early July 2013.

The Coalition of NGOs of Tajikistan and FIDH urge the government of Tajikistan to carefully consider and implement the recommendations made by the Committee, in particular:

  • Ensure the effectiveness and independence of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights;
  • Guarantee the independence of judges;
  • Ensure that all arrested persons fully enjoy their right of access to a lawyer;
  • Ensure the right to freedom of expression for journalists and citizens;
  • Review the legislation on libel and insult;
  • Abolish the death penalty and ensure that all deaths in custody are fully and promptly investigated;
  • Strictly apply the principle of non-refoulement;
  • Concerning torture, close the gap between practice and law, effectively investigate all allegations of torture or ill-treatment and bring alleged perpetrators to justice;
  • Concerning the right to freedom of association, review the law governing the registration of nongovernmental organizations and reinstate nongovernmental organizations which were unlawfully shut down;
  • With regard to minority rights, promote the participation of minority groups in political life and decision-making bodies.

In its recommendations the Committee also expressed concern about the allegations of civilian deaths and injuries during the security operation in Khorog city in July 2012 and about the fact that investigations into these cases have not yet been finalized. Tajikistan should establish accountability for perpetrators and compensate victims and their families.

The Committee also expressed concern at reports of politically motivated harassment of opposition political leaders with a view to deterring them from participating in future elections. In this regard, it mentioned reports of arbitrary detention of Mr. Zayd Saidov, the head of a new political party called “New Tajikistan”. Tajikistan should ensure that Mr. Saidov is guaranteed the rights to liberty of person and fair trial.

By ratifying the ICCPR in 1999, Tajikistan committed itself to implement the Covenant. 14 years on, the government is in no hurry to fully implement the relevant provisions and ensure effective work of organizations that aim to guarantee the civil and political rights of the people of Tajikistan. The government of Tajikistan can, and must, do much more to meet its international obligations and commitments towards its own people. The Coalition of NGOs of Tajikistan and FIDH therefore call on government of Tajikistan to fully implement the recommendations of the Committee.

Members of the Coalition of NGOs of Tajikistan:

Tajikistan Association of Political Scientists;
Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law (FIDH member)
Union of Lawyers of Sughd Province;
Tajikistan League of Women Lawyers;
National Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan;
Independent Human Rights Center;
NotaBene Public Foundation;
Panorama Public Foundation;
Right & Prosperity;
Equal Opportunities;
Human Rights Center;
Center for the Rights of the Child;
Etibor (Dignity).

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