FH urges Tajik authorities to end its harassment of opposition activists and their family members

17/12/2015 15:06
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, December 17, 2015, Asia-Plus – Freedom House (FH) issued a statement on December 16 following the Tajikistan government's brief detention of relatives of Muhiddin Kabiri, chairman of the opposition Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT)

“Using family members as hostages to intimidate and silence government critics violates fundamental human rights and spotlights the government's intolerance of dissent,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president.  “The government of Tajikistan should end its harassment of opposition and civic activists, human rights defenders, and their family members.”

Freedom House notes that the government of Tajikistan on December 15 detained 10 members of Muhiddin Kabiri’s family, including his 95-year-old father, brother and sister, an aunt, nephew and brother-in-law.  Kabiri was reportedly told that the detentions were retaliation for his planned speaking engagement at a Freedom House event on Tajikistan.

Kabiri was abroad when the crackdown against his party intensified this year.  He remains in exile and spoke at the Freedom House’s event via Skype from an undisclosed location, according to the statement.

Tajikistan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and receives a democracy score of 6.39 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2015.

Founded in October 1941, Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Based in the United States, Freedom House conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights.  It describes itself as a “clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world.”

The organization's annual Freedom in the World report, which assesses each country's degree of political freedoms and civil liberties, is frequently cited by political scientists, journalists, and policy-makers.  Freedom of the Press and Freedom of the Net, which monitor censorship, intimidation and violence against journalists, and public access to information, are among its other signature reports.

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