AI: Tajik lawyer remains in detention and is at risk of an unfair trial

26/02/2016 09:58
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, February 26, 2016, Asia-Plus – A statement released by Amnesty International (AI) on February 25 says Buzurgmehr Yorov, a lawyer representing members of the banned Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), remains in pre-trial detention and is at risk of an unfair trial.

“He was arrested in September 2015 in what appeared to be an attempt to deny the arrested members of the IRPT access to legal counsel.

“Tajikistani lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov, was arrested on September 28, 2015 by officers of the Tajikistani Police Unit for Combating Organized Crime.  Since then he has remained in pre-trial detention, which was extended on January 28, 2016 for another two months, to allow for further criminal investigations.  His arrest followed the detention of 13 high-ranking members of the Islamic Revival Party on September 16-17, 2015, some of whom he was legally representing.

“Buzurgmehr Yorov was arrested on charges of fraud and forgery.  These original charges were not related to the IRPT or its activities, but during his arrest police seized documents relating to the IRPT cases he was working on.  The criminal proceedings against Buzurgmehr Yorov appear to be designed to deny the arrested members of the IRPT access to legal counsel and to deter other lawyers from taking up their case.  In December, additional charges of “extremism” were made against Buzurgmehr Yorov by state investigators.

“The criminal proceedings against Buzurgmehr Yorov are likely to be politically motivated and he is at risk of an unfair trial.  The seizure of papers relating to Buzurgmehr Yorov’s legal work on behalf of the arrested members of the IRPT leadership was an illegal interference in the confidential relationship between client and lawyer, in violation of Principle 22 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.” 

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