The Special Rapporteur’s follow-up report on the mission to the Republic of Tajikistan is now available here in English and Russian.
FOLLOW-UP Visit by the Special Rapporteur and the ATI Team to the Republic of Tajikistan
February 10 – 13, 2014
As part of the follow-up efforts of the Anti-Torture Initiative, the Special Rapporteur and the ATI team successfully concluded a three-day follow-up visit to the Republic of Tajikistan on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. On the first day of the visit, the Special Rapporteur and the ATI team met with the Minister of Interior and a delegation from the Ministry to assess and discuss the State’s progress in implementing the Special Rapporteur’s prior recommendations for combating torture and ill-treatment on the ground. On their first day in Tajikistan, the Special Rapporteur and the ATI team also met with members from civil society for preliminary consultations.
On Tuesday, February 11, the Special Rapporteur and the ATI team continued their full program of meetings, holding talks with high-level judicial officials, including the Prosecutor General; the Supreme Court Justice Ministers; the head of the Council of Justice; and the Judge Secretary of the Constitutional Court. Additionally, the team visited a new Forensic Center in Dushanbe, which was established by the Government by the Government pursuant to the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur after his first visit to Tajikistan in May 2012.
On the third and last day of the visit, the Special Rapporteur and the ATI team continued to meet with high-level Government officials, local civil society partners, and representatives from UN agencies and other international organizations to further assess the level of implementation of the recommendations issued by the Special Rapporteur after his 2012 visit to Tajikistan.
A Roundtable event co-organized by the ATI also took place on Wednesday, February 12, bringing high-level government officials, representatives from civil society, and international organizations together with the Special Rapporteur to discuss the Government’s Action Plan for implementing his recommendations.
The event, which was organized by the ATI, the UN OHCHR, and APT, and co-sponsored by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Open Society Foundations, OSCE, and the Tajik Coalition against Torture, constituted an excellent opportunity for holding substantive talks and agree on concrete steps towards the full implementation of the SRT’s recommendations. The Roundtable facilitated productive discussions between members of the national NGO Coalition Against Torture and high-level government officials, including the Minister of Justice, the Ombudsman, parliamentarians, and Ministry of Interior representatives, in attendance.
Please visit the website of the Tajikistan NGO Coalition Against Torture to view VIDEO recordings of the Roundtable proceedings.
At the end of the visit, the Special Rapportuer held a press conference and issue a press release about the visit. In his preliminary observations at the end of the visit, the Special Rapporteur noted that Tajikistan still needs to bridge the gap between its policies and reality, and urged the Government to fully and effectively implement policies for the eradication and prevention of torture and ill-treatment.
Please visit the UN OHCHR website to read the press release in full.
The Special Rapporteur’s report on the follow-up visit will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month.
To learn more about the Special Rapporteur’s 2012 mission to Tajikistan and to read his country visit report, which was presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013, refer to the information below.
2012 Country Visit to Tajikistan
The Special Rapporteur undertook a country visit to the Republic of Tajikistan from May 10-18 2012. During his visit, he met with Government officials, civil society members, and representatives of UN agencies and international organizations. He was also able to meet with victims and their families, and visit several places of detention in around Dushanbe, Khujand, Isfara, Istarafshan and Kurgan–Tube.
The SRT released his preliminary findings in a statement and press release on 18 May 2012, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan [links to preliminary findings and press release]. The SRT reported that, while Tajikistan has introduced some encouraging changes in the normative framework for the prohibition of torture and ill treatment, concerns remain about the exertion of pressure on detainees, and the lack of safeguards against illegal renditions.
The SRT published his Country Visit Report on 28 January 2013, and presented his findings and recommendations at the 22nd Session of the Human Rights Council on 4 March 2013.