Civil Society Coalition against Torture and impunity in Tajikistan
Media review for April 2016. Death after 5 days of service in the army and the 5th year strategy of the NGO Coalition against Torture
News reports about hazing, brutal treatment and soldiers' deaths in the Army became more frequent in the media recently. The analysis of local press and online media for the past month, revealed several publications on this subject.
Thus, on April 5, Radio Ozodi (Liberty) reported on the mysterious death of 22-year-old Bakhtiyor Kurbonmadov after 5 days of service in the army. "Lifeless body of the Defense Ministry’s soldier was handed over to his family after five days of his conscription. Relatives say he died as a result of beating, while the military officials say the death was due to heart failure”, - writes Ozodi.
The student of Economics of the Kulob State University had voluntarily joined the Army during the spring conscription and was deployed to military unit # 02011 of the Tajik Ministry of Defense in Rasht.
Although Bakhtiyor’s relatives claim that there were clear traces of beatings on his body, the authority of the military unit # 02011 of the Rapid Response Unit of the Ministry of Defense stated that his death was due to the heart failure.
On April 26 the "Asia-Plus" news agency reported that the Ombudsman oversees the investigation over the conscript’s death in Rasht.
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Tajikistan will take control over the investigation into the death of Bakhtiyor Kurbonmadov who allegedly died as a result of beatings.
Based on the information provided on the Ombudsman’s website, its representatives contacted the Military Prosecutor of the Rasht Garnison Idibek Sobirzoda in the connection of the conscript’s death in Rasht, who informed that Bakhtiyor Kurbonmadov died in a result of heart failure.
According to Ombudsman office, at the moment the investigation in to this case initiated by the Military Prosecutor of the Rasht Garnison, and the representatives of the Ombudsman office will monitor the investigation process.
On April 21 the "Ozodagon" news agency reported the death of a young man in Tajikistan at the result of draft raids.
On April 19, a 19-year-old resident of the village of Jamoat Hakim Nurabad district rushed into river in order to escape from draft raid, at the result of which was drowned.
On April 26, Radio Ozodi (Liberty) reported about the death of 21-year-old conscript Farruhdzhon Haytaliev who allegedly was beaten by three officers and soldiers of the Border Guard Troops.
The Military Prosecutor's office launched a criminal case against the three officers and soldiers of the military unit #2847 of the Border Troops under SCNS RT stationed in Rudaki district.
Bahodur Kasirov, the investigator from the military prosecutor, told Ozodi that the officers are suspected of involvement in the death of 21-year-old Farruhdzhon Haytaliev. The source did not name the suspects in order to prevent interference with the course of the investigation.
Farruhdzhon’s parents claim that their son had died as the result of beating by the fellow soldiers at the end of January this year. Radzhabali Haytaliev, the father of the deceased soldier, said there were only 8 months left before the expiration of Farruhdzhon’s service.
“When Farruhdzhon’s body was brought home, we noticed traces of beating”, - he says.
Relatives mentioned that Farruhdzhon voluntarily joined the army. Nobody expected that this initiative will end so tragically. Now the parents require the prosecutors to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of thier son.
Abdulrahim Karimov, the Commander of the military unit # 2847 of Rudaki district in an interview with Radio Ozodi denied reports of the violent death of Farruhdzhon Haytaliev. According to him, there is no hazing practices at the military unit entrusted to him. “Of course, parents will complain. But I will state - Farruhdzhon was not a victim of “hazing”. All the details will be revealed by the prosecutors who are investigating the case, "- said the commander of the unit.
On April 6 Radio Ozodi reported that Ozoda Rahmon, the Head of the Executive Apparatus of the President of Tajikistan, demanded the military court to carefully consider the case of Mehrovar Maksudov.
“Ozoda Rahmon, the Head of the Executive Apparatus of the President of Tajikistan, in response to the letter from Munira Asoeva, a mother of Mehrovar Maksudov, assured that the case of the allegedly beaten Tajik soldier will be carefully considered”, - the newspaper writes, with reference to the military the prosecutor's office of the country.
The source states that the investigation continues and in case the court proves the charges brought against the perpetpriators, they will be brought to justice.
Besides, according to Asia Plus new agency, the case will also monitor by the Ombudsman Office.
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Tajikistan verifies the fact of Mehrovar Maksudov being beaten by his fellow servicemen and later, according to the relatives was placed in a psychiatric hospital.
“He was hospitalized in the second pavilion of the Republican Psychiatric Hospital in Rudaki district, and is currently under the doctors’ supervision. During the conversation with the Ombudsman's office representatives who visited him in the hospital, M.Maksudov denied the fact of beating, and said he has no complaints against anyone”, - states the website of the Ombudsman Office in Tajikistan.
On April 12 its became known that Mehrovar Maksudov was exempt from further military service. According to Radio Ozodi a military serviceman Mehrovar Maksudov, who was previously been hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic and then transferred to a military hospital, was exempted from further military service due to health conditions.
On April 27, the "Asia-Plus" website reported that the main person involved in the attack on the Sino’s district military commissariat employees, Umedjon Amrohon sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The Dushanbe’s city court convicted Umedjon Amrohon for attacking the Sino’s district military commissariat and murdering two of them. A native of Kulyab city Umedjon Amrohon was convicted under the Article 104 (the murder of two or more persons) for 25 years and under the Article 32 Part 3 (murder of persons on duty) of the Criminal Code for 18 years in prison. As such he received the maximum term - 30 years. The first five years he will spend in prison and the rmaining time he will serve in a penal colony. Earlier, the prosecutor Bakhtiyor Mahmudzoda requested a life term for Umedjon Amrohon.
On April 5, “Asia-Plus” published the Interior Ministry’s statement, which denies the information about the invlovment of the police officers in suicide incitement of a young resident of Vahdat.
Tajik Interior Ministry unconditionally denies the information from the internet portal “Payom.net” about the suicide of 27-year old resident of Vahdat district after he was allegedly beaten by the police officers of this district.
The statement which was published on the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan states that this information is used for discrediting the law enforcement bodies and does not correspond to reality.
It is noted that, in fact, on April 2 this year Bunyod Mirzoev and his father, Muhammadi Mirzoev were summoned to the district police department. According to the Interior Ministry B. Mirzoev first name and family coincide with the name another citizen, who, allegedly was planning to leave for Syria in order to join the extremist groups there.
The information also states that after the conversation, both B. Mirzoev and his father were allowed to go home.
The statement also mentioned that “the suicide case of B. Mirzoev is currently under investigation by the prosecution office”.
In April, the issue of the protracted investigation into the death of Ismonboi Boboev, a victim of torture from Isfara city was once again raised in the Media as well as the issue of of compensation to relatives of victims of torture.
On April 26, the website of the NGO Coalition against Torture published an article “Those responsible for Boboev’s death are “sick” for the seventh year.
Dzhuraboy Boboev – father of Ismonboi Boboev, who died in the custody, allegedly as a result of torture in 2010, for seventh year trying to bring those responsible for his son's death to justice.
On April 23, 2016 the legal representative of Juraboi Boboev - Abdurahmon Sharipov submitted an application to the Prosecutor General of Tajikistan regarding inefficient investigation of the case and the lack of prosecutorial supervision.
On February 19, 2010, after returning from migration a 30-year-old resident of Khujand Ismonboi Boboev was detained by the officers of the Regional Anti-Organized Crime Directorate of Sughd region Firdavs Shokirov and Manuchehr Akbarov. According to the father, later his son died as a result of being tortured “electric current” applied during interrogation.
In March 2010 the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor office in Sughd region lauched a criminal case into the death of a detainee Ismonboi Boboev against Firdaus Shokirov and Manuchehr Akbarov. However, the investigation was suspended for the sixth time, reportedly due of the sickness of both suspects.
On April 26, the website of the NGO Coalition against Torture informed that the Interior Ministry has paid 16 thousand Tajik Somonis to Kayumov Khushvakht, a victim of torture, as a compensation for moral damage.
On April 27, the"Asia-Plus" news agency informed about the Dushanbe resident Lubat Burkhonova who lost her son - Dilshodbek Murodov in 2009, as a result of beatings in prison, who is intended to seek compensation for moral damages due to the loss of a breadwinner and has submitted the claim to Somoni District Court.
The claim is submitted against the Main Directorate of Corrections of the Ministry of Justice of RT.
Dilshodbek Murodov died after receiving serious injuries in 2009 in the penal colonies №3/1 Main Directorate of Corrections of the Ministry of Justice of RT. He was sentenced to 6 years for drugs trafficking without intention to sell it.
In August 2009, D. Murodov was delivered to the prison’s medical unit with injuries and unconscious, where he died without regaining consciousness.
Meanwhile, judges in Tajikistan are studying the standards of the Istanbul Protocol, as reported by the NGO Coalition against Torture on April 7th 2016.
From 6 to 8 of April a Training for judges on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in accordance with the standards of the Istanbul Protocol, was held in Dushanbe.
During the training the judges were provided with information on the national legislative norms and international standards to combat torture and other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment.
In particular, such issues like the legal basis of activities and the ways Prosecutors could exercise their authority to counter torture were touched upon, as well as the participants were trained in the techniques of conducting forensic and psychiatric examinations in cases of torture and other ill-treatment of punishment, how to deal with torture allegations during the pre-trial and trial stage of criminal proceedings, etc.
The trainers included the members of the Working Group on the promotion of the standards of the Istanbul Protocol under the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the population, judges of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan and the NGO lawyer, etc.
In a joint partnership with the Judicial Training Centre under the Council of Justice its foreseen to conduct 4 three-day training on the Istanbul Protocol standards for 60 judges from all regions of the republic in the course of this year.
According to the website of the NGO Coalition against Torture from April 15, a number of psychologists were trained in the rehabilitation of victims of torture.
The Tajik psychologists have furthered their skills in psychological assessment, diagnosis and rehabilitation of victims of torture and other ill-treatment.
The main goal of the training was to increase the capacity of psychologists in the rehabilitation of victims of torture and their families, as well as the on the mechanisms and methods of evaluation for moral damages to the victims of torture, and conducting psychological examinations.
The training was conducted by International expert in the assessment of non-pecuniary damage Ms. Lilit Gevorkyan (Armenia, Yerevan) and National expert, Doctor of pedagogical sciences, Assistant Professor of psychology at the Tajik National University Ms. Nafisahon Yunusova.
Torture prevention in Tajikistan is discussed in Geneva – informs the website of the NGO Coalition against Torture on 1 of April.
On 31 March and 1 April, ahead of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Tajikistan at the UPR Working Group’s 25th session in May 2016, members of the NGO Coalition against Torture will present recommendations aimed at strengthening torture prevention in Tajikistan to experts at the Office of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights and to permanent diplomatic missions in Geneva. On 6 May all UN member states will have an opportunity to ask questions and make recommendations to the authorities of Tajikistan in order to strengthen human rights protection in the country.
On 31 March the NGO delegates from Tajikistan will meet with the Human Rights Treaties Division of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to discuss the NGO recommendations and future cooperation. On 1 April the Coalition against Torture and other NGOs from Tajikistan will deliver statements at the 13th round of UPR Pre-sessions, a public event organized by the Geneva-based NGO UPR Info at the International Conference Centre of Geneva, to which all Permanent Missions have been invited.
The website of the NGO Coalition against Torture on 12 of April informed that, the NGO Coalition against Torture has developed a new five-year strategy for civil society to combat torture in the country.
This document defines the strategic directions of the Coalition’s activities for 2016-2020 and is aimed to involve civil society institutions, government bodies and international organizations in the implementation of measures to combat torture and impunity in Tajikistan.
Victims of torture and ill-treatment and their families often are not aware about the rights they are entitled while coming across the law enforcement agencies, or whom to address for protection of their violated rights. The strategy aims at raising awareness of victims of torture, and an understanding of their rights as well as the channels through which they can lodge complaints and requests for compensations and the protection of their interests.