Over the past year and a half, more than 700 public organizations have been liquidated in Tajikistan, which is 2 times more than the general statistics of the previous three years. The authorities claim that most of the public organizations were liquidated of their own accord, but the founders state that they are required to "voluntarily dissolve (liquidate)." Experts consider this approach dangerous.

Tajik Justice Minister Muzaffar Ashuriyon said at a press conference on August 8 that most public organizations cease their activities for financial reasons by self-liquidation.

"When the funds raised for a certain period are spent and fully utilized, organizations will begin to apply to the authorities with a statement on self-liquidation. We will eliminate them. This is the main reason for the liquidation," Muzaffar Ashuriyon said.

According to Ashuriyon, the Ministry of Justice submits a very small part of organizations for liquidation to the courts for non-compliance with legislation identified during inspections.

"The justice authorities conduct inspections, and if their activities contradict the current legislation of Tajikistan, we are forced to take measures. First, a warning is given, and when the shortcomings are not eliminated, we are forced to file a lawsuit to terminate their activities," Muzaffar Ashuriyon said.

Meanwhile, public organizations complain that the authorities are putting pressure on them to voluntarily cease their activities.

For example, at the beginning of May this year, representatives of at least five public organizations of GBAO, in an interview with Radio Ozodi, stated that employees of the power structures of the region demanded that they voluntarily declare themselves bankrupt and liquidate their organizations. Such cases have been reported in other areas as well.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Justice Asadullo Khakimzoda said at a press conference on August 8 that over the past six months, the activities of five public organizations that were associated with criminal groups and financed by them had been terminated in GBAO.

Analysis of the statistics of the Ministry of Justice of the country on registration and liquidation of public organizations shows that the number of liquidations of organizations is increasing year after year. So over the past 4.5 years, 715 public organizations have been registered in the country, and 1103 have been liquidated.

And in 2022 it increased to a record level: almost 500 public organizations were closed, more than 100 of which were by court decision.

Dilrabo Samadova, lawyer and head of the public organization "Office of Civil Liberties", says that the creation of a public organization is a constitutional right of citizens, and these organizations are bridges between the population and state authorities.

According to her, public organizations often solve and consider issues that the authorities cannot cope with alone.

"For example, people trust in public organizations, that work in the field of disabled children, torture, domestic violence or "hunting for conscripts", more than in the authorities, and society more often turns to them on legal and social issues," she said.

She added that public organizations are selfless assistants to the authorities, who study any problem or disadvantage and make proposals to the authorities to solve them.

"They help the authorities to fulfill the obligations of the state related to human rights acts, the requirements of international treaties. Therefore, the activities of public organizations are both in the interests of the state and the population," Dilrabo Samadova noted.

She stressed that the restriction or termination of the activities of a public organization is a restriction of the human right to association, a violation of the requirements of international organizations and a democratic society.

Meanwhile, Muzaffar Ashuriyon said at a press conference that the Ministry of Justice is also interested in increasing the number of public organizations in the country, since most of them are engaged in social issues.

Our interlocutor from the liquidated public organization believes that the damage from the termination of the activities of public organizations will mostly affect the common population, since their activities are aimed at providing various gratuitous assistance in a particular issue of public life.

According to him, the termination of the activities of public organizations will lead to a decrease in the role of civil society in the country.

And Dilrabo Samadova says that the closure of public organizations will primarily indicate that human rights are not properly respected in Tajikistan.

"All projects that the state receives from international organizations or individual countries require that part of the work be carried out jointly with public organizations. Even when the UN makes recommendations to the state, it requires the free participation of civil society, especially public organizations, in its implementation. Therefore, the authorities should understand the importance of the activities of public organizations and support them, refrain from pressure and liquidation and, conversely, contribute to the progress of society and democratic foundations in Tajikistan," the expert added.