1. The European Union deeply regrets the loss of lives in the Gorno-Badakhstan Autonomous region (GBAO) in Tajikistan and calls on all sides to refrain from the use of force and make every effort to resolve the current situation peacefully.
2. The European Union urges the Government of Tajikistan to respect and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including people’s right to life, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of the media in any security-related operation in this autonomous region.
3. The EU also calls on Tajikistan to implement conflict-prevention measures that meet international human rights standards, and to engage in a constructive dialogue with the protesters.
4. Finally, the EU calls on the Tajik authorities to open an investigation into the violent clashes which occurred in GBAO between 16 and 22 May, including on the death of civilians and reports about the alleged acts of torture by the security forces.
The Candidate Countries REPUBLIC of NORTH MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO* and ALBANIA*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and Potential Candidate BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, GEORGIA, and CANADA align themselves with this statement.
* Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the
Stabilisation and Association Process.