Statement on Attack of Opposition Party Leader in Tajikistan

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Gary Robbins
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 25, 2013

The United States is concerned by the attack on the deputy head of the main opposition Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), Mahmadali Hayit, on the evening of April 19.  The perpetrators were reported to have fled the scene after brutally attacking Mr. Khait, who has been hospitalized and is receiving medical care.  The United States calls on the government of Tajikistan to immediately conduct a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the beating of Mr. Khait.  Accountability for attacks on political actors can serve as an important deterrent to those who would use violence to suppress political dialogue, and is in keeping with Tajikistan’s OSCE commitments to the rule of law.

Tajikistan is currently preparing for a presidential election in November of this year.  In accordance with Tajikistan’s OSCE commitments on democratic elections, it is critical that all its citizens have the space to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly without intimidation and the threat of violence.

Thank You, Mr. Chairman.