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Advance questions and statement to Tajikistan

Advance questions:

  1. Will Tajik authorities allow journalists, diplomats and NGO representatives access to the court cases against 13 high level members of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, currently ongoing in Dushanbe? If not, then on what grounds?
  2. Norway was pleased to see Tajikistan accept our recommendation to ensure that the amendments to the criminal code of 2011 were in compliance with international obligations regarding freedom of assembly and freedom of conscience during the last UPR cycle. Which steps have been taken in this regard?
  3. Norway was also pleased that Tajikistan accepted our recommendation to strengthen and promote women’s rights through appropriate legislative and policy measures and by addressing discriminatory social and cultural attitudes and practices. What has been done since then in order to meet this recommendation?

Statement

Norway welcomes the delegation from Tajikistan and commends Tajikistan`s dedication to the UPR process.

Norway is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Tajikistan, in particular the recent crackdown on opposition parties and groups, its members and their lawyers.

We recommend Tajikistan to immediately and unconditionally release prisoners arrested on politically motivated charges, including members of the Islamic Renaissance party of Tajikistan, Group 24 and their lawyers.

Norway remains worried about women’s rights and domestic violence in Tajikistan. We recommend Tajikistan to implement and enforce the domestic violence law of 2013 as well as to strengthen the protection and promotion of women’s rights through legislative and policy measures and by addressing social and cultural attitudes and practices.

The situation for detainees is reason for concern. We recommend that Tajikistan Ensures that detainees are afforded fundamental legal and procedural safeguards from the outset of their deprivation of liberty, ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, and establish an independent National Preventive Mechanism in compliance with OPCAT requirements.

The arrests and allegations against lawyers of opposition members highlight significant shortcomings within the judiciary. We recommend Tajikistan to ensure lawyers freedom to exercise their professional duties by guaranteeing unhindered access to their clients, freedom to represent their clients without threats from state or other actors and that such threats are promptly investigated.