IRPT, 22 September 2016, Warsaw

Authorities in Tajikistan are now targeting, detaining, torturing and threatening family members and relatives of the opposition activists who arranged the protest and walk in during yesterday HD Implementation Meeting organized by the ODHIR  in Warsaw in order to stamp out all dissent.

The Tajik government uses family members of the activists as hostages in order to silence government critics when the opposition raises its voice by staging protests or meeting with representatives of countries and organizations or criticizing the situation.

The authorities told the detained relatives to ask their beloved ones not to participate in protests and criticize the Government in Europe’s largest annual human rights conference, organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and threatened, otherwise they will be brutally punished. Many of these family members are kept in detention centers for the second days.

This is how the government of Rahmon deals with human rights and the activists. Isn’t this violation of core human rights?

Mr. Zarif Alizoda, ombudsman of Tajikistan along with Tajik government’s delegation, is now here in this conference to tell us that Tajikistan respects human rights. Is there any one to ask him: why the relatives of the activists are being detained, harassed and threatened by your government?

The Human Rights Without Frontiers recently in a release said, Opponents to Rahmonov are nowhere safe in the world. Unfortunately, this is not the end of story, their family members too are not safe inside the country. So, the Tajik activists and their family members are nowhere safe in the world.

Family members of the following IRPT’s activists are being detained: Muhammadsaid Rizoi, Ilhomjon Yoqubov, Shuhrat Rahmatulloh, Muhammadiqbol Husaini, Muhammadi Teshaev, Bobojon Qayumov, Muhammadjon Kabirov, Saidibrohimi Nazar, Mahmudjon Faizrahmonov, Fathiddin Majitov, Jannatulloh Komil, Kholidi Mahmadsaid, Ruhullo Kabirov, etc. Also, family members of other opposition groups’ activists like Suhrob Zafar, Muhammadsobiri Abduqahor, Sharofiddin Gadoev, Zaid Boboev, Husain Ashurov, Shabnam Khudoidodov, etc.

Family members of Dr. Muhiddin Kabiri, chairman of the IRPT were also detained, including daughter-in-law, eldest brother and other relatives.

The human rights international organization, including Washington-based advocacy group Freedom House had previously condemned this kind of detentions in Tajikistan.

The Freedom House in a statement said: “Using family members as hostages to intimidate and silence government critics violates fundamental human rights and spotlights the government’s intolerance of dissent”.

“The government of Tajikistan should end its harassment of opposition and civic activists, human rights defenders, and their family members.”- added in the statement.

We call on international community to press the government of Rahmon to make an end to using family members as hostages.

Mahmudjon Faizrahmonov, Spokesman for the IRPT

22 September 2016