The statement of the National Committee for the Release of Political Hostages and Prisoners of Tajikistan on the case of abduction of an activist

A Tajik activist Sharofiddin Gadoev, who was abducted on February 15, 2019 in Russian Federation by the security forces of Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, has had the status of a political refugee in the Kingdom of Netherlands as of March 3, 2016 and thereby, he is taken under protection of the international community due to being chased for political reasons both in the country and outside of it.

Having been in power for 26 years, President Emomali Rahmon, with this violent abduction, previously declared by four eminent international human rights organizations, once again grossly violated international covenants and conventions to which Tajikistan also is a party.

At the present time, the fighter against corruption is in the hands of the State Committee for National Security and is kept as a political hostage. Lawyers and relatives are not allowed to meet with him. There is evidence that he was tortured and mistreated.

He is under the toughest psychological pressure of the Tajik Special Forces. Their attempt — to make the forced abduction look like a voluntary return of Sharofiddin Gadoev and like a repentance in his political and anti-corruption activities in front of representatives of the government of Tajikistan — failed thanks to a video message, recorded by Sharofiddin Gadoev in advance in case of being abducted or killed.

This is not the first case of extraterritorial crime, abduction and even assassination of political opponents outside Tajikistan by the special forces of the government of Emomali Rahmon.

The most high-profile cases of this kind can be called the following cases: the abduction of the leader of the democratic party of Tajikistan, Mahmadruzi Iskandarov, from Moscow on April 15, 2005, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison; the abduction of the leader of “Youth for transformation” movement, Maksud Ibragimov, from Moscow on January 20, 2015, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison; the assassination of the leader of the opposition movement “Group 24”, Umarali Kuvvatov, on March 5, 2015 in Istanbul. The fate of blogger Ehson Odinaev, who disappeared on May 23, 2015 in St. Petersburg of Russian Federation and who the Tajik security forces were hunting for, is still remained unknown.

We call on the authorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the parliament, the civil society of the Netherlands, European and all democratic countries, international organizations, all people of good will to demand from the Tajik authorities to provide diplomats and lawyers with the immediate access to the abducted activist. We urge you to use all possible international protection mechanisms to save the victims of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, and demand the immediate release of the political hostage of the Tajik government and the unhindered return of Sharofiddin Gadoyev to the Netherlands to his children and family.

The National Committee for the Release of Political Hostages and Prisoners of Tajikistan

Warsaw, Poland

27.02.2019

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