Berlin (22/10 – 75)
UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, reported during his trip to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan, he met with representatives of civil society and residents of the region. Varennes arrived in Tajikistan for a working visit on October 9 till October 20.
The UN Special Rapporteur told journalists that the residents of Gorno-Badakhshan informed him about violations of their rights in 2021-2022, particularly concerning the rights of detainees and cases of harsh treatment by law enforcement agencies. He stated, “People are complaining about religious restrictions as well as limitations on the use of Pamiri languages,” during a press conference in Dushanbe on October 19.
UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, reported during his trip to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan, he met with representatives of civil society and residents of the region. Residents shared with him the violations of their rights in 2021-2022, particularly concerning the rights of detainees and cases of harsh treatment by law enforcement agencies.
According to Varennes, representatives of ethnic minorities in Tajikistan have complained that they do not have their own deputies in the Tajik parliament. However, he did not disclose the details of his meetings.
Meanwhile, the UN website reported on October 19 that Fernand de Varennes, in his statement following an 11-day visit to Tajikistan, expressed particular concern about the fate of ethnic minorities, including the Jughi, religious minorities, and the Pamiri community in GBAO “on several fronts, including their representation in the national parliament, access to education in their native language, and freedom of religion “.
The UN Special Rapporteur strongly recommended that the Tajikistan authorities continue their efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and urged a review of the legislation to include the Jughi minority in the National Action Plan. “Regarding the events that took place in GBAO since November 2021, the Special Rapporteur called on the authorities to conduct an impartial and transparent investigation in accordance with international standards and measures to prevent tension and violence escalation in the region,” as stated in the UN announcement. Fernand de Varennes emphasized that the Tajik authorities’ response to the complaints of the Pamiri people is an essential part of this de-escalation.
Varennes announced during a press conference in Dushanbe that the report following his working visit to Tajikistan will be published in March 2024. The final report will first be presented to the Tajikistan government and then to the UN Human Rights Council.
Earlier in April, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Nazila Ghanea, visited Tajikistan. During a press conference at the end of her visit, she expressed concerns about the situation regarding freedom of conscience and religion and noted that the scope of the freedom of religion or belief in the country is alarmingly distant from international human rights standards. Nazila Ghanea stated that Tajikistan should leave behind its past, which was marked by civil war, and protect freedom of religion and belief.
The authorities of Tajikistan regularly face criticism from international human rights organizations and Western countries for human rights violations, including the rights of minorities and restrictions on religious freedom.