Tajikistan
23.01.15
Urgent Interventions

Sentencing of Mr. Sukhrat Kudratov

TJK 001 / 0115 / OBS 003
Arbitrary detention /
Sentencing / Judicial Harassment
Tajikistan
January 23, 2015

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for HumanRights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Tajikistan.

Description of thesituation:

The Observatory has beeninformed by reliable sources of the sentencing of Mr. Sukhrat Kudratov, ahuman rights lawyer known for his work defending opposition activists, victimsof police torture, and those accused of 'religious extremism', lawyer for theindependent news agency “Asia-Plus”, and Deputy Director of the oppositionSocial Democratic Party. Mr. Kudratov was also the winner of the local Bureaufor Human Rights and Rule of Law’s Human Rights Defender of Tajikistan award in2011.

According to the information received, on January 13, 2015, a court ofthe Capital City of Dushanbe sentenced Mr. Sukhrat Kudratov to nine years in apenal colony for bribery and fraud. Mr. Kudratov was under pre-trial detentionsince his arrest on July 21, 2014, when he was arrested in his office andcharged with three criminal offences, including attempted bribery of a judge.He will appeal the sentence.

The Observatory fears thatMr. Kudratov is being targeted solely for exercising his legitimate humanrights activities and notably for defending Mr. Zaid Saidov, an oppositionactivist and former Minister of Justice, who was arrested in November 2013after announcing the creation of a new opposition party in the run up to the December 2013 presidentialelections.

In addition, it is to benoted that Mr. Kudratov is the second of Mr. Zaid Saidov’s lawyers to bedetained. In March 7, 2014, Mr. Fakhriddin Zokirov, another lawyer defendingMr. Saidov, was arrested on forgery charges. He was released after eight monthsunder the condition that he would no longer defend Mr. Saidov.


After these events, on July 15, 2014, Mr. Kudratov issued a publicletter addressed to foreign parliaments, governments, embassies andinternational human rights organisations drawing their attention to the humanrights violations committed at the occasion of the Zaid Saidov trial and on theongoing persecution of Mr. Saidov's legal team. Six days later, he wasarrested.

The Observatory strongly condemns Mr. Kudratov’s arbitrary detention andsentencing, which are considered as measures of retaliation for his legitimatehuman rights activities and calls upon Tajikistan’s authorities to drop allcharges against him and immediately and unconditionally release him.


Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Tajikistan, urging themto:


i. Release Mr. Sukhrat Kudratov immediately andunconditionally, since his detention is arbitrary as it only seems aimed atsanctioning his human rights activities.


ii. Put an end to any act ofharassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Sukhrat Kudratov aswell as against all human rights defenders in Tajikistan so that they are ableto carry out their work without hindrances;

iii. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declarationon Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the UnitedNations on December 9, 1998, especially:

- its Article 1,which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association withothers, to promote the protection and realization of human rights andfundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;

- its Article 6(c) which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in associationwith others to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, bothin law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and,through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to thosematters” ;

- and its Article12.2 which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensurethe protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and inassociation with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de factoor de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as aconsequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in thepresent Declaration”.

iv. More generally, ensure in all circumstances therespect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional humanrights instruments ratified by Tajikistan.


Addresses:

· President of the Republic ofTajikistan, H.E. Mr. Enomali Rahmmon, Rudaki avenue, 80, 734023 g. Dushanbe,Tajikistan. Tel: +992 372 21 68 00. Fax: +992 372 21 68 00. Email: mail@president.tj

· Prime Minister, Mr. KokhirRasulzoda, Rudakiavenue, 80, 734023 g. Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Tel: +992 372 21 66 81 // 21 18 71

· Minister of Justice, Rudaki avenue, 25, Dushanbe 734025,Tajikistan. Fax: +992 37 22180 66. E-mail ijozattj@mail.ru

· Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sirodjidin Aslov, Ul Sheroz 33Dushanbe, 734001Tajikistan. Fax: +992 372 21 02 59. Email: info@mfa.tj

· Minister of Internal Affairs, Ramazon Rahimov, 29 Tekhron Street,Dushanbe, 734025 Tajikistan. Fax: +992 372 21 26 48

· Ombudsperson, Zarif Alizoda, 7 Dzhalol Ikromi, Dushanbe 734025,Tajikistan, Fax: +992 372 21 79 69, Email: info@ombudsman.tj

· General Prosecutor SalimzodaSherkhoni Odina, DUSHANBE, 734043, ABUALI IBN SINO AVE., 126. Phone: + 992 372355635 // 357874. Fax: +992 372 21 02 59. Email: info@mfa.tj

· Chairman of the Supreme Court, Karaboev avenue, 1, Dushanbe734018. Tel: +992 372 33 48 2

· Chairman, State Committee for National Security, Saimymin Yatimov,Ministry of Security, Ul Gorkogo 8, 734025 Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Fax: +992 37221 23 12

· Permanent mission of the Republic of Tajikistan to the UnitedNations in Geneva, 93 rue de la Servette (4th floor), 1202 Geneva, Switzerland.Fax: +41 22 734 11 58, Email: tajikistanmission@bluewin.ch

· Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan inBrussels, boulevard Général Jacques 16, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 64901 95, Email: taj-emb@edpnet.be


Please also write todiplomatic representations of Tajikistan in your respective countries.

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