IRP leading members’ lawyer at risk of torture, says Amnesty International

02/10/2015 09:46
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, October 2, 2015, Asia-Plus – International non-government human rights organization, Amnesty International (AI), says Buzurgmehr Yorov, a lawyer representing members of the arbitrarily banned Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRP), has been arrested on fraud charges and is at risk of torture and ill treatment.

In a statement released on October 1, Ai, in particular, notes that “the timing indicates that the charges are likely to be politically motivated and designed to deny the arrested members of the IRPT access to legal counsel.”

“Following the arrest on September 16 of 13 high-ranking members of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRP), on September 28, officers of the Tajikistani Police Unit for Combating Organized Crime arrested Buzurgmehr Yorov, a lawyer representing several of the IRPT members.

“Buzurgmehr Yorov has been arrested on charges of fraud and forgery.  These charges are not related to the IRP or its activities, but during his arrest police seized documents relating to the IRPT cases he is working on and so the criminal proceedings against him are likely to be politically motivated and designed to deny the arrested members of the IRPT access to legal counsel. It is also likely to deter other lawyers from taking up their cases.

“Buzurgmehr Yorov is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, which are often used by law enforcement officials in Tajikistan to secure “confessions” and other incriminating evidence, and also of an unfair trial.

“In an interview with a journalist published on September 28, Buzurgmehr Yorov explained that one of his clients, the deputy leader of the IRP Umarali Hisainov (Saidumar Khusaini), told him he had been beaten and that his head was covered with a bag while he was being held by the Police Unit for Combating Organized Crime.  The same police unit has now arrested Buzurgmehr Yorov.

“The seizure of papers relating to Buzurgmehr Yorov’s legal work on behalf of the arrested members of the IRPT leadership is also 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.”

We will recall that criminal proceedings have been instituted against Buzurgmehr Yorov under the provisions of two articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code: Article 140 – fraud; and Article 340 – document forgery.

Meanwhile, Yorov’s colleagues consider that the detention of Buzurgmehr Yorov is politically motivated, because he has agreed to defend several leading members of the Islamic Revival Party (IRP) who were arrested in Dushanbe on September 16 on suspicion of being directly involved into the recent mutiny's masterminding. 

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