Tajikistan: Closure of the NGO "Amparo"
URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY
TJK 001 / 1112 / OBS 103
Arbitrary closure of an NGO
The Observatory for the
Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International
Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture
(OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Tajikistan.
The Observatory has been
informed by reliable sources about the closure of Association of Young Lawyers
“Amparo”, a human rights organisation founded in 2005 and a member of the
Coalition Against Torture, very active in investigating cases of torture and
ill-treatment as well as in monitoring and advocating for the rights of
vulnerable groups in Tajikistan.
According to the information received, on
October 24, 2012, a court of the City of Khujand (North of Tajikistan) headed
by Judge Safarali Kurbonov decided to close down “Amparo”, on grounds that the
organisation had breached several of its legal and administrative obligations,
including the provisions of the new Law “On Public Associations”, adopted in
This ruling follows a motion filed on June 29,
2012 by the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan to liquidate “Amparo”, the day
after officials conducted a large audit at the Khujand offices of the
organisation without providing any prior notification nor presenting any
written decision of inspection.
In the said motion, the Ministry of Justice
alleged that “Amparo” had changed its legal address without re-registering with
the local Department of Justice; that it had created an official website in
contravention with the Law “On Public Associations”; that it was carrying out
activities outside the Sughd region where it was registered; and that it conducted
training sessions on human rights issues for high school students without any
It is to be noted however that all the
allegations of the Ministry of Justice appear to be groundless, as “Amparo”
representatives did reportedly inform the Tajik authorities that the
organisation's address had changed and have held all their training sessions in
the framework of agreements with the Ministry of Education and/or the local
executive authorities. In addition, no provision of the Law “On Public Associations”
prohibits them from operating a website and, before it was forcibly closed
down, “Amparo” reportedly had an application for country-wide registration
pending with the Ministry of Justice since July 25, 2012.
Mr. Junayd Ibodov, “Amparo”'s lawyer, therefore
maintains that the case against the organisation is illegal and politically
motivated. “Amparo”'s representatives intend to appeal the Court's decision in
The Observatory strongly condemns the arbitrary
closure of the human rights organisation “Amparo” and the conditions in which
the court decision was issued, as it clearly aims at sanctioning the
organisation's legitimate human rights activities.
Please write to the authorities of Tajikistan, urging them
i. Put an end to any act of harassment - including at the
judicial level - against Amparo and its members, as well as against all human
rights defenders in Tajikistan;
with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by
the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially:
- its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually
and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and
realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and
- its article 5, which states that “everyone has the right, individually
and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a)
To meet or assemble peacefully; (b) To form, join and participate in
non-governmental organizations, associations or groups; (c) To communicate with
non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations.”
- its Article 6 (b) and (c), which states that “Everyone has the right,
individually and in association with others […] as provided for in human rights
and other applicable international instruments, freely to publish, impart or
disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and
fundamental freedoms and [...] to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the
observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public
attention to those matters”.
- and its Article 12.2, which provides that “the
State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the
competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others,
against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination,
pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her
legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration” ;
iii. More generally, ensure in all circumstances
the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human
rights instruments ratified by Tajikistan.
President of the
Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. Enomali Rahmmon, Rudaki avenue,
80, 734023 g. Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Tel: +992 372 21 68 00
Mr. Oqil Oqilov, Rudaki avenue, 80, 734023 g. Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Tel: +992 372 21 66 81 // 21 18 71
· Minister of
Justice, Mengliev Rustam
Shomurodovich, Rudaki avenue, 25, Dushanbe 734025, Tajikistan. Fax: +992 37 221 80 66
General Prosecutor Salimzoda
Sherkhoni Odina, DUSHANBE, 734043, ABUALI IBN SINO AVE., 126. Phone: + 992 372
355635 // 357874
· Chairman of
the Supreme Court Nusratullo Abdullaev, Karaboev avenue, 1, Dushanbe 734018.
Tel: +992 372 33 48 21
mission of the Republic of Tajikistan to the United Nations in Geneva, 93 rue
de la Servette (4th floor), 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 734 11 58,
· Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in Brussels, boulevard
Général Jacques 16, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +
32 2 649 01 95, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
write to diplomatic representations of Tajikistan in your respective countries.
Paris-Geneva, November 8, 2012
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken
quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is
dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them
concrete support in their time of need.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29