Yesterday, May 10, Tajik Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Ramazon Rahimov met with the UN Special Repporteur on tortures Juan Mendes, Tajik Interior Ministry told AP.

According to the source, Tajik Interior Minister told independent expert about Tajikistan’s policy on improvement of legislation for protection of human rights and freedoms.

“The work on elimination of existing problems in accordance with international standards is under way,” minister said, adding that Tajikistan ratified the Convention against torture in 1995.

He also said that law enforcement structures handed all detention centers, except temporary detention center, to Justice Ministry.

“Police officers have specific register books to register information about the arrested persons. The rights of detained people are protected by the article 17 of the Law “On the order and conditions of detention and arrest of suspects.” According to the given law this category of persons undergo medical examination before detention,” Rahimov has said.

He also said that police officers who apply manual power against the arrested persons are called to responsibility under Articles 314 and 316 (abuse of power) and Article 354 (Compulsion of testimony) of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan.

A separate article 143 part 1 (tortures) was added to the Criminal Code of Tajikistan in April this year. Experts claim that tortures still have place in Tajikistan even though the country’s legislation meets international standards.

Last week Amnesty International urged Tajik authorities to carry out unbiased, objective and independent investigation into alleged torture of detainees and guarantee them protection from persecution.