Statement

Dear Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs!

We heard that you are planning to travel to Tajikistan on 6-7 of January with a special program. Your visit comes at a time when Tajikistan is in the run-up to two big political events – Parliamentary elections and Presidential elections – in order to prolong the regime of Emomali Rahmon by legislation; Rahmon who has illegally remained in power for 27 years and his regime is nothing but dictatorial. Regime for which civil freedom, religious freedom, freedom of speech and media and in general human rights have no value.

Ms. Wells, your talks with Tajik officials are expected to focus on «deepening regional security cooperation, expanding economic and energy connectivity, and growing people-to-people ties,» according to a State Department statement. We hope that human rights situation will also be discussed, and you will be more aware of the poor human rights situation. Upon your arrival in Dushanbe you will notice that most of the citizens are sad and depressed. However, on the contrary you will notice a fake smile on the face of officials.

There are seven prisons in and around Dushanbe where more than 14,000 prisoners are kept. Nearly 70 percent of them are prisoned on fabricated charges. Among them we also have about 400 political prisoners and state of health of most of them is alarming since they are most oppressed among others. They are not only physically and psychologically tortured during the day, but in organized incidents they are also killed whenever authorities wish. For example, among thirty prisoners killed in prison in Vahdat city three of them were political prisoners. This incident was organized after six months of mass killing in prison of Khujand city taking lives of nearly fifty prisoners.

At the same time in Tajikistan children, wives, families and close relatives of political prisoners are and left in a difficult situation and subjected to continuous pressure by the authorities of the country. The authorities created an atmosphere in such a way that ordinary people are deprived from their constitutional rights in general, but families of political prisoners are extremely deprived from their rights.

The National Committee for the Release of Political Hostages and Prisoners of Tajikistan (NCRHP) calls upon you to discuss the case of torture, pressure, and mass killing of prisoners in your talks with Tajik officials.

Below are our suggestions for you to obtain more information on this matter:

1) To conduct series of meetings with political prisoners. It is obvious that they won’t tell you the whole truth in front of prison officials, but we hope conducting such meetings will clarify much of it.

2) To conduct series of meetings with the families of political prisoners residing in the country. They would tell you much about violation of their rights and the rights of political prisoners.

3) To enhance information on the matter of violation of rights of political prisoners and their families, our committee is ready to cooperate with you and with other institutions that follow the human rights situation in Tajikistan.

Sincerely,

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

January 4, 2020

Warsaw, Poland

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