The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate asked the president of Tajikistan to stop the repression of political opponents and representatives of religious minorities inside and outside the country.
Ben Cardin wrote in a letter to Emomali Rahmon that he is deeply concerned about the “bad attitude of his government towards the opposition, human rights activists and civil society”.
The letter was sent to the Millat Palace, the residence of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, on November 27 of this year. Its content will be discussed on December 6 in the Senate with the presence of representatives of some human rights organizations, including Freedom House.
The response of the Tajik government to the letter is not known. In the past, government representatives have denied human rights violations and repression of opponents and dissidents, blaming these people for crimes, including extremism.
Cardin said that while Tajikistan wants to benefit from greater international cooperation and foreign trade and investments, its government should act according to its promises, including the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
“I especially appeal to you to put an end to the ongoing repression of the opposition, journalists and representatives of civil society, both inside and outside Tajikistan,” he added.
He went on to say that there are constant reports of “arbitrary detention, torture, attacks and even murders of journalists, political opponents, religious leaders and civil society”.
“Especially in Badakhshan Mountain Autonomous Province, the persecution of minority ethnic and religious representatives, organizations and their local leaders continues,” said Ben Cardin.
According to the US State Department’s report on human rights, the Tajik government in 2022 targeted foreigners, political opponents, civil society activists, human rights defenders and journalists “with threats and abuse of judicial procedures”.
The Freedom House organization considered the government of Tajikistan “one of the perpetrators of transnational repression in the world”. This organization estimates that only in 2022, eleven political and religious dissidents from Russia will be forcibly returned to Tajikistan, and “many of them are in prison on false charges.” Most of these cases were recorded after the bloody events of May in Badakhshan Mountain Autonomous Region.
The Prosecutor General of Tajikistan says that in 2022, nearly a hundred people from foreign countries were extradited to Dushanbe.
Yusuf Rahmon said in the National Assembly in March this year that 18 of them were suspected of terrorism and extremism. In recent years, some political opponents in Tajikistan have been tried and imprisoned on charges related to terrorism and extremism.
Ben Cardin said that the United States wants to strengthen its growing cooperation with Tajikistan and added that the observance of human rights and the rule of law will benefit Tajikistan in the long run.
“I ask you to immediately end the repression of peaceful demonstrators, community leaders, journalists and activists in Tajikistan, as well as all forms of transnational persecution. Forced repatriation of dissidents through Interpol,” he concluded.
Source : Радио Озоди