Human rights organization urges Turkey not to extradite Group 24 member to Tajikistan

05/08/2016 15:08
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, August 5, 2016, Asia-Plus – In a statement released on August 4, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia urges the Turkish authorities to cancel deportation of Abdurashid Homidov, the member of Group 24, to Tajikistan, “where torture is systemically practiced.”

Abdurashid Homidov (date of birth: 15.12.1989), a citizen of Tajikistan. He is a member of an opposition political movement Group 24.

The statement says Mr. Homidov is persecuted by the country of origin for his opposition activities as a member of Group 24.

“In 2014 Tajikistan proclaimed the group as an “extremist organization” for the criticism spoken out by its activists.  In 2015, Mr. Homidov applied for international protection at the UNHCR office in Ankara.

“He has been under the arrest since April 15, 2016.  Documents for his deportation to Tajikistan on 5 August have been processed.

“Abdurashid Homidov was a confidant of the leader of Group-24, Umarali Quvvatov, who was shot dead on 5 March 2015 in Istanbul.  On December 19, 2014, Mr. Homidov was arrested together with Mr. Quvvatov.  

“Tajikistan is persecuting Mr. Homidov for political reasons.

“Association for Human Rights in Central Asia calls on Turkey to stop the extradition of Abdurashid Homidov, because it would violate the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits torture under any circumstances, namely - Article 3 of the Convention, which states: "No State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

“Association for Human Rights in Central Asia reported about Abdurashid Homidov’s case to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the OSCE, the Amnesty International, the HRW, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee - NHC, the International Partnership for Human Rights - IPHR and the media.”

We will recall that the founding leader of Group 24 Umarali Quvvatov once had close ties with President Emomali Rahmon’s relatives but became an opponent.  He fled Tajikistan for Moscow in the summer of 2012.  There he formed an organization called Group 24, which he claims is a new political movement opposed to incumbent President Rahmon.  He was wanted by Dushanbe on fraud charges that he said were politically motivated.

Quvvatov stayed in Russia and the United Arab Emirates before moving to Turkey.  On December 19, 2014, Umarali Quvvatov was arrested in Istanbul for visa violations, but he was released on February 3, 2015.  Umarali Quvvatov was shot dead by unidentified assailant in Istanbul, Turkey on March 5.

Tajikistan's Supreme Court banned Group 24 on October 9, 2014 following growing government pressure on the opposition group after it used the Internet to call for street protests in the capital, Dushanbe, on October 10, 2014.

Supreme Court judge Salomat Hakimova ruled that Group 24 is an extremist organization, and therefore, it is banned in Tajikistan.  Its website and printed materials were also banned.

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