Tajikistan Tortures Political Detainee

Washington

In response to reports that authorities in Tajikistan have tortured a jailed journalist who is member of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), Hikmatulloh Saifullohzoda, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Any use of torture or other degrading treatment to silence dissent shows disregard of fundamental human rights, as in this case of an opposition figure already detained on trumped up charges,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “The government should provide fair, open trials to members of the IRPT charged with wrongdoing.”

Background:
On September 29, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan classified the IRPT, Tajikistan’s largest opposition party, as a terrorist organization, a month after it was banned on the basis of spurious administrative violations. The IRPT had participated in mainstream Tajikistani politics since the country’s civil war ended in 1997. The party lost its last two parliamentary seats in March 2015, in elections that the OSCE concluded were unfair.

Tajikistan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, 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.

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