Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that about 50 relatives of government opponents have been detained and interrogated in Tajikistan. “Some have been released, but the majority are still behind bars,” said the statement of this organization, published on October 6.
We are talking about a group of asylum seekers and opponents who demonstrated on September 28-29 during Emomali Rahmon’s visit to Berlin.
According to Human Rights Watch, one day after throwing eggs at the car of the Tajik president in Germany, on September 30, the Tajik authorities started arresting the relatives of German protesters and prominent opposition figures, detaining and interrogating 47 people. “In particular, grandmothers, grandfathers and children were arrested without any explanation or reason. As it was reported, they were subjected to threats, insults and brutal treatment,” HRW said in a statement.
The organization called this action of the Tajik authorities a serious violation of international obligations and demanded that the relatives of the opposition be released immediately. The reaction of the Tajik authorities to this statement is not known.
A few days ago, a group of protest participants in Berlin, in a statement, demanded from the authorities of Tajikistan to stop arresting and tormenting their loved ones with respect for human rights.
They also asked the Ombudsman of Tajikistan, the Committee of the Red Cross, the OSCE and Western diplomats in Dushanbe to organize a delegation to investigate extrajudicial detentions and “violation of human rights in Tajikistan”.
The human rights watchdog has called on the United States and the European Union to “condemn the disgraceful act of the Tajik government and force the country to fulfill its international obligations regarding human rights and bring to justice the officials and people responsible for arbitrary arrests.”
Opposition representatives of the government have also complained about the pressure on their families in the past years. The authorities do not directly respond to these complaints, but human rights organizations have repeatedly asked the Tajik government not to use opposition families “as hostages to intimidate and silence critics.”
At the end of September, during the visit of Emomali Rahmon to Germany, a group of opponents of the Tajik government gathered in front of the office of the Prime Minister or the German Chancellor in Berlin. Some supporters of the Tajik government lined up on the way to the Bellevue palace of President Frank Walter Steinmeier.
The protesters demanded the improvement of freedom of speech, ensuring the safety of journalists and stopping the persecution of people with political motives.
The official authorities of Tajikistan have not explained this incident. At the same time, the behavior of Tajik opposition activists in Germany was also criticized on social networks, who during the protest “made obscene insults” and “beat an employee of the Tajik embassy”.
Source : Радио Озоди