Tajikistan: Combat impunity and ensure the protection of human rights defenders

ISHR urges States to call on Tajikistan to combat impunity and ensure the protection of human rights defenders in a briefing paper launched today.

Today ISHR launched a briefing paper on the situation of human rights defenders in Tajikistan, which is scheduled to be reviewed at the 25th session of the Universal Periodic Review in May 2016.

The briefing paper highlights concerns about political activists and journalists being subject to violence, frequently threatened and harassed by officials, intimidated and arbitrary arrested; political prisoners being denied access to legal counsel before trial; and members of civil society organisations operating in a general climate of impunity and self-censorship, with the potential risk of unexpected closure.

The briefing paper also documents a clear disconnect between the State’s commitments at its last Universal Periodic Review in October 2011 and the operating environment within which human rights defenders undertake their work on the ground.

This Briefing Paper on the situation of human rights defenders in Tajikistan serves as a submission to the Universal Periodic Review, which will scrutinise the situation of human rights in Tajikistan in January 2016, and is intended to assist States and other stakeholders to formulate questions and recommendations regarding the protection of human rights defenders during the review.

In this respect, the briefing paper details key recommendations ISHR considers should be made to the Tajik Government, including:

  • Amend the Law on Public Association to ensure its compatibility with international human rights standards;
  • Protect the work of human rights defenders; and  
  • Combat impunity and ensure prompt and transparent investigation of all violations against human rights defenders and other civil society actors.

For further information about the Briefing Paper or for any assistance or advice in the formulation of recommendations, please contact ISHR’s Tess McEvoy ([email protected]).