Russian Politician Arrested For Criticizing Ukraine Invasion


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has referred to as on Tajik authorities to cease the “wrongful detention” of residents of the Central Asian nation’s risky Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Area (GBAO), dozens of whom have been arrested since protests in Might protests and “are dealing with closed, unfair trials.”

In a press release issued on August 23, HRW stated Tajik authorities had arrested and detained greater than 200 residents within the GBAO, together with a minimum of 90 activists, on prices associated to the protests and ensuing clashes. A few of these charged reportedly disappeared from Russia and have been forcibly taken to the GBAO to face trial.

HRW’s Central Asia researcher Syinat Sultanalieva stated within the assertion that dozens of activists and different natives of the restive area “are dealing with unfair trials behind closed doorways with out entry to legal professionals.”

“With out legal professionals, defendants cannot get a good trial and are at higher threat of being tortured or in any other case mistreated,” Sultanalieva stated.

The report comes a day after relations of Salam Imomnazarov stated the worldwide judo grasp and son of one of many casual leaders of the GBAO had been sentenced to 16 years in jail for drug trafficking on the finish of June.

Imomnazarov was detained at Dushanbe airport on February 19 as he returned from Turkey the place he obtained medical remedy. He was charged, police stated, as a result of his identify was talked about by a drug vendor in 2015 throughout interrogation. Imomnazarov and his household have vehemently denied the costs.

HIs father, Imomnazar Imomnazarov, was killed in his home in Khorug in August 2012, a month after a authorities safety operation was launched within the space that left a minimum of 30 civilians, and 17 authorities troopers have been useless. Family blame the Tajik authorities for his dying. The authorities deny any involvement.

One among Imomnazarov’s relations, talking on situation of anonymity, advised RFE/RL on August 22 that the household was not knowledgeable of the trial date, and that the one contact allowed was along with his sister, who noticed him for under 10-Quarter-hour earlier than the decision was handed down.

“He advised his relations to not enchantment in opposition to the decision as a result of he doesn’t consider he’ll get justice and considers interesting to a better courtroom to be ineffective,” the member of the family stated, noting Imomnazarov had pleaded not responsible.

In 1999, Tajikistan joined the Worldwide Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulates that everybody charged with a felony offense is entitled to a good and public listening to, has entry to counsel and enough time to arrange a protection, and is ready to study the proof in opposition to them.

Nevertheless, HRW says, the autonomous area has solely seven legal professionals who’re formally registered as members of the GBAO Bar Affiliation to cowl the area’s inhabitants of 250,000.

Legal professionals from different areas of the nation report being warned in opposition to taking on the circumstances of these arrested, whereas others concern retaliation. A number of of these charged are reported to have been forcibly taken from Russia and dropped at the area to face trial.

Deep tensions between the Tajik authorities and residents of the GBAO have simmered since a five-year civil struggle broke out shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Protests are uncommon within the tightly managed nation of 9.5 million the place President Emomali Rahmon has dominated with an iron fist for practically three a long time.

The most recent crackdown on activists within the GBAO adopted protests initially sparked in mid-Might by anger over the dearth of an investigation into the 2021 dying of an activist whereas in police custody and the refusal by regional authorities to contemplate the resignation of regional Governor Alisher Mirzonabot and Khorugh Mayor Rizo Nazarzoda.

The rallies intensified after one of many protesters, 29-year-old Zamir Nazrishoev, was killed by police on Might 16, prompting the authorities to launch what they referred to as a “counterterrorist operation.”

The escalating violence within the area has sparked a name for restraint from UN Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres, Western diplomatic missions in Tajikistan, and human rights teams.

Gordo-Badakhshan, a linguistically and ethnically distinct area, has been house to rebels who opposed authorities forces through the battle within the Nineties.

The area’s mountainous terrain makes journey troublesome, whereas its financial system suffers from unemployment, troublesome dwelling circumstances, and excessive meals costs.

“The Tajik courts have grow to be a conveyor belt for churning out prolonged jail phrases with out due course of for anybody linked to the Might protests,” Sultanalieva stated. “The Tajik authorities have to cease this injustice and uphold their worldwide obligations to finish wrongful detentions and to make sure honest trials.”

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