Presenting her Country Visit report on Tajikistan at a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor,  on March 12 once again called on the Tajik authorities to release from prison at least eight convicts, including journalists and human rights activists. 

She has posted the report on her X page.  In her report, Ms. Lawlor once again shared conclusions from her visit to Tajikistan in November-December 2022. 

Ms. Lawlor, in particular, noted that she had managed to visit a pre-trial detention center and met human rights defenders there.

According to her, some officials in the Tajik government are trying to engage positively with human rights defenders, and there has been some legislative progress.  However, many of those who peacefully defend the rights of others are reportedly under increasing pressure. 

The situation of human rights defenders in Tajikistan is reportedly deteriorating.  UN Special Rapporteur noted that lawyers, journalists and others were being targeted for their human rights work.  They have reportedly been confronted with a range of difficulties ranging from onerous administrative burdens, to harassment, threats, criminalization, closed unfair trials and imprisonment.

“I call on the Tajik authorities, just like during dialogues with the Government of Tajikistan, to release Daler Boboiyev (Daler Imomali), Avazmad Ghurbatov (Abdulloh Gurbati), Zavqibek Sohibov (Zavqibek Saidamini), Abdusattor Kotibov (Abdusattor Pirmuhamamdzoda), Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoyeva, Manouchehr Kholiqnazarov, Faromouz Irgashev and Khoushrouz Jumayev,” she said.  

UN Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor paid an official visit to Tajikistan from November 28 to December 9 to assess the situation of human rights defenders in the country.  

During her visit, the Special Rapporteur held meetings with government authorities in Dushanbe, and also traveled to Khujand, the capital of the Tajik northern provinces of Sughd.

Ms. Lawlor held discussions with the Ombudsman, members of Parliament, prosecutors, the Supreme Court and representatives of the international community.

She also visited a pre-trial detention center and met human rights defenders there.  Her request to visit the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) was denied.