The National Committee for the Release of Political Hostages and Prisoners of Tajikistan (NCRPH) referring to an Open Letter from two political prisoners, Rahmatullo Rajab and Zubaidullo Rozikov, two members of the IRPT executive board, to Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, which explained how they had been unjustly detained and imprisoned, and their request for a fair trial, calls on human rights institutions and organizations at home and abroad not to remain indifferent to their fate and to use all their capabilities and authority to seek their release.
It should be noted that Rahmatullo Rajab was sentenced to 28 years in prison, and Zubaidullo Rozikov — to 25 years in prison. In the letter, they again asked the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Court and the Ombudsman to reconsider their cases.
These two political prisoners, together with Hikmatullo Sayfullozoda, had previously sent a letter to the three above-mentioned institutions with a request to reconsider their cases and hold public trials with the participation of representatives of international organizations and the media.
The text of their letter is as follows:
Dear Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of Tajikistan Mr. Emomali Rahmon!
We, the former members of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, who are now in prison, have filed complaints and appeals with almost all law enforcement agencies in the country, but, unfortunately, they all refused us.
On the evening of September 15, 2015, State Committee for National Security officers detained us, the 13 members of the Supreme Council of the IRPT, from our homes without providing documents and took us to the Temporary Detention Center of the GKNB, where we were severely beaten and arrested.
A few days later, despite the lack of evidence against us, members of the Supreme Council of the IRPT, were charged under Article 187 No. 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Tajikistan a criminal case was initiated. This was while the IRPT was officially active. Just 13 days after our imprisonment, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan officially banned the party.
After the arrest verdict was passed by a group of investigators from the Prosecutor General’s Office, as if they had interrogated and persuaded us for a long time, they opened a case under the Articles No. 187 part 1, 187 part 2, 189 part 3 b «a», 307 part 3, 331 part 3 b. «A», 104 h. 2 b. a, b, g, h, i, l, m, p. 32 part 3, 104 part 2, 309-part 2 b. «B», 32 h. 3, 179 h. 3 b. «A», 306, 313, 195, 199 h. 4 parts a, b, g, z, i, l, m, p., 3071 part 1, 3071 part 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Tajikistan and the interrogation began.
It was obvious that, this form of work complicates the procedure of their fabricated case. In addition, they kept our high-profile case secret and tried to hide the «secret» of the investigation. In fact, there were no secrets in this case, other than hiding their slander from the public.
Thus, from the beginning to the end of the investigation, the investigators only openly demonstrated the unfairness of the production and the emptiness of their fabricated case. Insofar as the interrogations of the investigators and our answers as suspects in the case were not officially recorded.
We asked the head of the investigative group of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Ibrohim Ibrohimzoda, why our answers were not recorded in the case, and the photographs and scenes, medical reports that had nothing to do with us were included in our case? He replied: Your answers are meaningless. Therefore, we have inevitably collected all this evidence against you.
Thus, the Prosecutor General’s Office ignored the facts of the case, blindly and fraudulently accused us from beginning to end.
During the investigation, when we presented convincing evidences of our innocence, the investigators smiled and indicated that we had no choice but to be imprisoned and that the order was from “above”.
Their answer shows that we are not being imprisoned based on the law or for the purpose of committing a crime, but in a democratic country based on the rule of law some ruler ordered such a catastrophe.
The saddest and most shocking thing was, that every time we spoke with representatives of the State Committee for National Security about the observance and rule of law, they smiled and laughed at us. And they pretended that everything was in their hands and that they were above the law.
And likewise, the General Prosecutor’s Office referred the fake case to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan.
The presiding judge A. Sattorzoda during the trial ignored the evidence presented by us and, it seems, did not hear our words. He tried not to make the slightest changes to the false documents in the Prosecutor’s Office. This indicates that he was under pressure and did not have the slightest independence in resolving the issue. Even in the case of listening to irrefutable evidence of the innocence of the «culprits», he raised his hands, indicating that he was also powerless in the correct solution of the issue and the case would be decided elsewhere.
As a result, the Presiding Court sentenced to life imprisonment Husainov Umarali and Haitov Mahmadali, the famous personalities of the country who had served the people at any necessary time.
77-year-old Rozikov Zubaidullo, who at this age should be with his children and grandchildren and is engaged in their upbringing, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and sent to a strict colony.
Hikmatullo Sayfullozoda, a 70-year-old independent and free-thinking journalist in the country, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Muhammadali Faizmuhammad, one of the best scientists in the country and holder of the Order of Honor, was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
64-year-old Jabir Rahmatullohi Rajab, Davlatov Abdukahkhor and Avazov Kiyomiddin, educated and talented personalities of the country, were sentenced to 28 years in prison as well as other IRPT members were sentenced to long prison terms.
It should be noted that the secrecy of the case did not help to hide all the slander of the State Committee for National Security, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan, and suddenly, 99 pages of our verdict were published on the Internet, and the international community found out that the case was fabricated. That is why the international community has recognized us as political prisoners.
Your Excellency, we, innocent «guilty» people, have been suffering in prison for over 6 years. In addition, we are slandered with extremist and terrorist nicknames, traitors to the nation and the Motherland and some hired writers with names of scholars, analysis centers, anonymous journalists and employees of educational institutions repeat these calls throughout the media, while some of them, had close ties with the IRPT and even called it a necessary party for Tajik society. We know ourselves well and we know that we have not betrayed and will not betray our Motherland and our proud people. Such labeling occurs only because we would not be recognized as political prisoners in the country and in the international arena.
It should be noted that if we are found guilty, then our «sin» is nothing more than membership in the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan. The party, officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan, was officially acting and during its existence did not commit any violations. A party that has contributed to various aspects of the country’s life and made tremendous efforts to gain independence and rebuild the country. The party, which played an important role in achieving peace and national accord, was the basis of one side of Peace Agreement.
The fact that we are considered the initiators of the Khoji-Halim’s coup is a fabrication of special interest groups. You know very well, Your Excellency, where the source of the coup came from and why it was committed. We believe that over time and with the disclosure of aspects of these events, it became clear to you that the IRPT and this coup have nothing to do with each other.
For more than 6 years we have patiently endured all the hardships that have fallen on us, hoping that the day will come when common sense and justice will prevail, and the truth will be revealed. But unfortunately, our hopes did not come true.
Today, on the eve of the Constitution Day of the Republic of Tajikistan, of which you are the guarantor and always support the rule of law, we would like to inform you with this open letter.
Therefore, we respectfully ask you, the Founder of Peace and National Unity, the Leader of the Nation, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, to assist in reviewing our case in the presence of international experts and observers, as well as domestic and foreign journalists.
Jobir Rakhmatullo Rajab