Interpretative Statement on the Decision on the Programme Office in Dushanbe

The United States has joined consensus on the new mandate for the OSCE field presence in Tajikistan, now called the Program Office in Dushanbe. We do so with the understanding that the new mandate will not be used to restrict the autonomy of the Office and its ability to respond flexibly to challenges or issues ...
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TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service December 14, 2016 Neuer Saal, Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria QUESTION:  Journalists are being intimidated, attacked, and recently one of our journalists, another one, was arrested, as you might have heard.  Allashov was arrested along with at least five members of his ...
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On New Charges Against Lawyer Burzurgmehr Yorov in Tajikistan | Statement to the PC

The United States wishes to express concern over the new criminal charges brought against defense lawyer Burzurgmehr Yorov. Mr. Yorov is already serving a 23-year sentence following a trial rife with procedural irregularities, and is likely being held in connection with his work as a defense attorney. On November 14, Tajikistan initiated a new criminal ...
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Closing Remarks | Statement at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

As the 2016 HDIM draws to a close, my delegation wishes to share some observations that will shape our approach to the OSCE Ministerial in Hamburg. First: Helsinki Final Act Principles linking respect for human rights within states to lasting security among states could not be more relevant. These foundational principles are under siege and ...
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Some OSCE Governments Are Revealing Their Weakness

No confident government would be frightened by a human rights defender. So what do crackdowns on activists by certain OSCE governments tell us? At the 2016 HDIM, taking place now in Warsaw , we’ve been speaking out against what we call the ‘shrinking space’ for civil society in many parts of the OSCE region. Civil society activists perform a vital role in ...
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Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief | Statement at Working Session 12 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of religion or belief is a founding principle of the Helsinki Process. Unfortunately, a small number of participating States engage in consistent, systematic violations and abuses of the freedom of religion or belief.
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Tolerance and Non-Discrimination | Right of Reply at Working Session 10 of HDIM 2016

If a government has law enforcement concerns about a participant, HDIM is not the appropriate forum to deal with it. There are inter-governmental tools for law enforcement cooperation. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: we want your participation. Walking out robs the rest of us of your government’s perspective. It is not an effective way to respond to ...
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Statement at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

In establishing the Representative on Freedom of the Media in 1997, the OSCE participating States recognized that “free, independent, and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and accountable systems of government.”
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Statement at Working Session 5 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of association is necessary for the fullest exercise of the freedoms of expression and of religion or belief, and for the conduct of free and fair elections. It is a cornerstone for the rights of persons seeking to form independent trade unions.
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Democratic Institutions | Statement at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

Elections are an essential element of democracy and a cornerstone of democratic institutions. The U.S. greatly appreciates the OSCE’s invaluable role in election observation – indeed, this organization has developed what is known as the “gold standard” for its methodology on evaluating elections.
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On the Sentencing of Members of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

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 ...
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Constitutional Referendum in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

We take note of the statement by Tajikistan on the constitutional referendum held May 22. The United States is concerned that some of the constitutional amendments approved, as well as some recent legislation, may have a negative impact on the democratic development of the country.  We are concerned that a new constitutional amendment which essentially ...
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On Findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

The United States wishes to echo the concerns outlined in the preliminary findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, whose visit to Tajikistan concluded March 10, 2016. During a March 10 press conference on his initial assessments, Mr. Kaye expressed grave concern over widespread blockage of Internet content and cellular ...
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Response to Tajikistan on civil society participation in OSCE events, arrests of Islamic Revival Party members

The United States strongly supports the participation of civil society in OSCE events. Under OSCE rules as enshrined in the Helsinki Document 1992, only “persons and organizations which resort to the use of violence or publicly condone terrorism or the use of violence” may be barred from participating in OSCE meetings. We remain concerned about ...
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On political opposition in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

The United States joins the EU and others in expressing its concern over the future of political pluralism in Tajikistan. On September 29, a decision by the Supreme Court of Tajikistan banned the Islamic Renewal Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), following months of increased government pressure against the opposition IRPT and its members. Since the IRPT ...
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On human rights concerns in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

I would like to follow up on a statement made by the European Union at the PC on July 2. The United States expresses its deep concern over the Government of Tajikistan’s ongoing attempts to silence voices of political opposition members, both within Tajikistan and abroad. As we have previously noted, international observers characterized Tajikistan’s ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes Ambassador Müller back to the Permanent Council. Ambassador, we thank you for your report and for the outstanding work you and your staff are doing in Tajikistan. We continue to support much of the traditional programmatic activity your office undertakes, as well as your efforts to address new activities in ...
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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 ...
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On Tajikistan’s March 2015 Parliamentary Elections: Statement to the PC

We also take note of the preliminary assessment issued by OSCE/ODIHR on behalf of the observers from ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly about the parliamentary elections in Tajikistan. We also noted the assessment on the restrictions of political space and the lack of a level playing field, and we call on the government of Tajikistan ...
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Restriction of Space for Political Opposition in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

The United States expresses its deep concern over the ongoing restriction of space for political opposition by the authorities of Tajikistan in advance of the March 1 parliamentary elections. These actions include undue limitations of the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly—all of which are guaranteed in Tajikistan’s constitution and are core OSCE commitments—through ...
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On Draft Legislation in Central Asia Impacting NGO Operating Space: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about the introduction of draft legislation in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan that could restrict the operating space for non-governmental organizations. While each piece of draft legislation is distinct—and its supporters may claim a legitimate interest to facilitate activities in the NGO sector—we believe it is important for these governments to ...
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