Criminal Proceedings against Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan Members: Statement to the PC

OSCE flag outside the Hofburg Congress Center in Vienna, Austria (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

The United States expresses deep concern over the criminal proceedings against at least 13 members of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) and the lack of fair trial guarantees. These individuals face a range of charges allegedly in connection with the September 4 violence that occurred in Tajikistan—charges that many international observers believe are politically motivated.

We note with concern that the authorities arrested Burzurgmehr Yorov and Nodira Dodajanova shortly after they filed as defense attorneys for two of the IRPT defendants. Authorities then arrested Nuriddin Mahkamov shortly after he filed as a defense attorney for Mr. Yorov. All three remain in detention. These arrests and detentions, which observers believe are in retaliation for their attempts to defend the IRPT, raise significant arbitrary detention and fair trial concerns, and have a chilling effect on the peaceful, meaningful work of Tajikistan’s human rights defense bar.

We urge the Government of Tajikistan to ensure that the criminal proceedings involving detained IRPT members, and their lawyers, are conducted in a fair and transparent manner, with required procedural guarantees in accordance with Tajikistan’s international obligations and OSCE commitments.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna