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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Tajikistan
September 22, 2016

Tajikistan Universal Periodic Review Report 

As delivered by Kevin P. Dolliver
Delegation of the United States of America

Human Rights Council 33rd Session
September 22, 2016

Thank you Mr. Vice President

The United States welcomes the Tajik delegation.

We remain troubled by the worsening human rights situation in Tajikistan.

We call upon the Tajik Government to repeal legislation facilitating the blockage of Internet content and telecommunications more generally.   Under this law, the State Committee for National Security has the authority to interrupt Internet and other telecommunication services during so-called “security operations.”  Suppression of the freedom of expression, including online, can undermine security by fostering resentments that can be exploited by violent extremist groups, while also impeding access to information that could counter terrorist messaging. 

We again call upon the Government to cease the harassment and persecution of human rights defenders and members of civil society organizations.  This includes ensuring that implementation of the regulations for amendments to the Law on Public Associations is not used to harass NGOs through surprise inspections and burdensome information requests.

The United States also calls upon the Tajik Government to provide human rights defenders, including defense attorneys and other individuals detained as a result of their political activities, with fair and transparent trials, including substantive protections and procedural guarantees in accordance with Tajikistan’s international obligations.  We remain especially concerned in the cases of Burzurgmehr Yorov, his brother Jamshed Yorov, and Nuriddin Mahkamov.  We reiterate our calls for the release of these individuals.

Thank you Mr. Vice President