The Ambassador of the European Union to Tajikistan, Raimundas Karoblis, was concerned about the closure of 700 public organizations in Tajikistan in the last year.
Speaking at the civil society seminar of the European Union and Tajikistan, the head of the European Union delegation said that “700 public organizations were closed in Tajikistan last year, which is not in favor of democratization of the society.”
Raimundas also said that we will continue our efforts to strengthen the cooperation between the civil society and the government, and the EU is ready to support this process more and put the world experience at the disposal of the government and the civil society so that this cooperation can develop more.
Firuz Orzuzoda, head of the Department of Human Rights Guarantees of the Executive Office of the President of Tajikistan, said at the meeting that “over the past two years, in close cooperation with civil society institutions, international organizations and development partners, we have made a number of achievements in ensuring and promoting human rights.” we achieved in the country.”
Also, Ahad Sodikov, head of the Organizational, Information and Analytical Department of the Human Rights Commissioner in Tajikistan, considered civil society structures to be important segments of society and said that no public organization was forcibly closed in Tajikistan.
“Closing public organizations has no legal aspect. Most of them are closed due to lack of funds. They mostly work on a project basis and if the project is over, they are out of business. There are various reasons for the suspension of activities, but no public organization has been forcibly closed in Tajikistan,” said Ahadov.
At this meeting, some representatives of the civil society believe that some events in Tajikistan have led to the breakdown of relations between the state authorities and the civil society, which requires a long time and a lot of capital to restore.
In particular, Nurmahmad Khalilov, head of the Center for Human Rights in Tajikistan, said that relations between state authorities and civil society are in a state of severe tension in some periods.
“Yes, there are periods when events happen and have consequences. For example, recent events in Khorog and similar. Suddenly the connections are broken. We don’t know how to deal with these situations. In my opinion, in such situations, let’s come together and consider what happened, what to do about this upcoming event. Because it is important that the representatives of the state authorities listen to our opinion in these cases,” – worried Khalilov.
Rasul Asozoda, chief specialist of the Department of State Registration of Public Unions and Political Parties of the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan believes that there is a constant dialogue between their ministry and representatives of civil society on the issues of improving legislation and the practice of law enforcement.
He said, “Every four years, Tajikistan reports on its international obligations to the relevant UN structures. After receiving the recommendations and summarizing the visit of the UN special rapporteurs at the national level, an action plan will be prepared and these plans will be discussed with the wide presence of the cultural community.
Meanwhile, Parvati Ramaswamy, the permanent representative of the UN in Tajikistan, called civil society organizations in this country important partners of this organization and said that the UN has decided to work more with them until 2036.
Some participants of the conference emphasized that the cooperation of public organizations with state authorities is not at the required level. In this case, they refer to various factors.
Dilrabo Samadova, the head of the “Office of Civil Liberties” organization, considers one of the reasons for the weak cooperation between state authorities and public organizations to be related to the personality of the leaders of state authorities.
“There are leaders they don’t understand, they fear, or they don’t trust. It takes some time to get to know each other and explain the need for cooperation. For example, we work with the Ministry of Defense and the Human Rights Commissioner to promote the rights of military personnel. But many times other state authorities, when they read our materials or our critical materials, make comments and refuse to cooperate with us,” says Samadova.
Some other partners are of the opinion that, on the contrary, compared to 8-10 years ago, the perception of cooperation with civil society has increased in government institutions. Although, according to them, this cooperation is not very effective, but it exists.
Shahlo Akobirova, head of the “Koma” organization, believes that cultural organizations should have the ability to cooperate with state institutions in order to be taken seriously.
“The capacity of the public organization should be at the level that it can discuss issues at the level of decision-makers. This is a matter of understanding the subject. We have to admit today that the level of our civil society is not at the level we want. Of course, there are people in the state institutions who do not understand this issue, why should I necessarily discuss some topic with the civil society”, Shahlo Akobirova compares.
The EU ambassador also emphasized at the meeting that in order to develop cooperation between the civil society and the government, a good environment should be created and comprehensive reforms should be carried out.
More than 700 public organizations were dissolved in Tajikistan in 2002-2023, which is 2 times more than the total statistics of the previous three years. This topic became hotter, especially after the incident of 2022. Official statistics also show that a large number of public organizations were destroyed after this incident. In the summer of this year, at the press conference of the Minister of Justice, Muzaffar Ashurian, he said that most of the public organizations stop their activities due to financial reasons.
“When funds have been attracted, the goal has been implemented within a certain year and the funds have been fully absorbed, the organization applies to the authorities for self-liquidation. We will destroy them. This is the main reason for the collapse,” Ashurian said.
Analysis of the statistics of the Ministry of Justice showed that the number of liquidation of organizations has increased year by year. During the last 4.5 years, 715 public organizations were registered in the country and 1103 organizations were liquidated. In 2022, this indicator reached a record level: almost 500 public organizations were closed, and more than 100 of them were terminated by a court decision.
Currently, according to the information of the Ministry of Justice, there are about 2,000 public organizations operating in Tajikistan.
Source : Радио Озоди