On the Sentencing of Members of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

Sign over the entrance to the Hofburg Congress Center, the location of many OSCE meetings, in Vienna, Austria. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

The United States wishes to express concern over irregular court proceedings resulting in harsh prison sentences for members of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).

On June 1, deputy IRPT leaders Saidumar Hussaini and Mahmadali Hayit received life sentences, and 11 others received sentences ranging from two to 25 years in prison, in alleged connection with the September 2015 violence against the government.  The closed-door trials were also hampered by procedural irregularities contrary to Tajikistan’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as it OSCE commitments, including obstructed access to legal counsel.

The United States has repeatedly raised its concern about shrinking space for political opposition in Tajikistan, including the banning of the IRPT and the imprisonment of many of its highest-ranking members and their legal defense teams.  We echo calls from the international community for the government to present clear, objective evidence justifying the criminal charges brought against the IRPT members in connection with all sentences issued.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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