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Tajikistan: Family of Jailed Opposition Figure ‘Disappeared’
In response to the disappearance of the wife and 17-year old son of jailed Tajiki opposition leader Mahmadali Hayit, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The kidnapping of Mahmadali Hayit’s wife and son is a heinous act, and a reminder of Tajikistan’s unrelenting crackdown on political dissent,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president. “The government of Tajikistan should do everything possible to locate and ensure the swift, safe return of Hayit’s family.”
Following the 2015 crackdown on the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), Deputy Chairman Hayit was one of several opposition leaders arrested on charges of conspiring with former Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda in a supposed armed bid to seize power. Hayit was sentenced to life in prison in June 2016 after a trial widely viewed as unfair. This was the latest step by President Emomali Rahmon’s ruling People’s Democratic Party to rid the country of all forms of peaceful opposition.
Tajikistan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and receives a democracy score of 6.54 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.
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.