EU urges the Government of Tajikistan to ensure fair trial for IRPT members and their lawyers

24/02/2016 16:03
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, February 24, 2016, Asia-Plus – A statement released by the European Union on February 18 notes that the European Union remains deeply concerned by the Tajik Government’s response to the violence of last September and its attempt to hold the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) responsible for those events.

“As a result, many members of the IRPT have been arrested and face criminal proceedings without a guarantee of a fair trial, especially its leaders in Tajikistan.  It is also important to note that the IRPT is not on any international list of proscribed terrorist organizations.

“We are equally concerned by the arrest of lawyers who applied to act as defense attorneys for IRPT defendants, Burzurgmehr Yorov, Nodira Dodajanova and Nouriddin Mahkamov.

“These arrests raise significant concerns related to arbitrary detention and fair trial, and can only impede the legitimate work of Tajikistan’s defense bar.  We reiterate the importance of upholding the rule of law and urge the Government of Tajikistan to ensure that criminal proceedings involving detained IRPT members, and their lawyers, are conducted in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with Tajikistan’s international obligations and OSCE commitments.  The EU is committed to support the government of Tajikistan in implementing its OSCE commitments.”

We will recall that Tajikistan’s Supreme Court banned the Islamic Revival Party as terrorist group on September 29, 2015 on the basis of a suit filed by the Prosecutor-General’s Office.  The Supreme Court ruled that the IRP should be included on a blacklist of extremist and terrorist organizations.  The verdict forces the closure of the IRPT's official newspaper Najot (Salvation) and bans the distribution of any video, audio, or printed materials related to the party's activities.

IRPT leader Muhiddin Kabiri remains in a self-imposed exile outside Tajikistan.

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