Tajikistan government’s ongoing attempts to silence opposition voices: Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the Government of Tajikistan’s ongoing attempts to silence voices of political opposition.

International observers characterized Tajikistan’s March 1 parliamentary elections as lacking in meaningful political alternatives, due to government interference in the campaign activities of such opposition parties as the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). The OSCE/ODIHR observation mission’s preliminary report detailed these and other irregularities.

We are also concerned that the Government of Tajikistan authorities also sought to repress, through domestic detentions and extradition requests to other governments, the activities of groups not participating in the election but otherwise deemed to be “extremist” for their dissenting views. By discouraging political pluralism, Tajikistan risks damaging its international reputation.

As before the elections, we urge the Government of Tajikistan to fully observe its international obligations on freedom of expression, association, and assembly enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—including the expression of opposing political views.

We also reiterate our previous call on the authorities of Tajikistan to grant detained opposition figures access to fair and public trials with the required procedural guarantees in accordance with Tajikistan’s international obligations and OSCE commitments.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna | March 26, 2015