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Tajikistan: Banning Opposition Party Confirms Dictatorship
In response toTajikistan’s Ministry of Justice banning the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Banning the IRPT is the latest low in Tajikistan’s descent into dictatorship,” said Susan Corke, director of Eurasia programs. “The government’s action against the party helps undo the agreement that ended Tajikistan’s civil war and increases the possibility of violent conflict. The United States the EU should speak out clearly against this decision.”
The Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan was the country’s most significant opposition party until it failed to clear the threshold in parliamentary elections in March 2015, elections that the OSCE found neither free nor fair. The party was an important heir to the United Tajik Opposition that battled the government in Tajikistan’s civil war from 1992-1997. The agreement that settled the civil war guaranteed 30 percent of government positions to opposition members.
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.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.