Press release

Family of Tajikistani Opposition Leader Harassed by Government

Following the Tajikistan government's brief detention of relatives of Muhiddin Kabiri, chairman of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, Freedom House issued the following statement.

Washington

Following the Tajikistan government's brief detention of relatives of Muhiddin Kabiri, chairman of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, Freedom House issued the following statement:
 
“Using family members as hostages to intimidate and silence government critics violates fundamental human rights and spotlights the government's intolerance of dissent,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president. "The government of Tajikistan should end its harassment of opposition and civic activists, human rights defenders, and their family members.”
 
Background
On December 15, the government of Tajikistan detained 10 members of Muhiddin Kabiri’s family, including his 95-year-old father, brother and sister, an aunt, nephew and brother-in-law. Kabiri was told that the detentions were retaliation for his planned speaking engagement at a Freedom House event on Tajikistan.
 
Kabiri was abroad when the crackdown against his party intensified this year. He remains in exile and spoke at the Freedom House’s event via Skype from an undisclosed location. 
 
Tajikistan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and receives a democracy score of 6.39 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2015.