Speech by Muhammadsobir Abdukahhor, Representative of the political movement “Group 24″in the CIS, at the OSCE Annual Conference

Speech by Muhammadsobir Abdukahhor, Representative of the Group of 24 Political Movement in the CIS, at the OSCE Annual Conference

On October 5, Mohammadsobir Abdukahhor, representative of the Group of 24 political movement in the CIS, spoke at the annual conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Warsaw, on the topic “The Rule of Law: Preventing and Eradicating Torture.”

At the beginning of the speech, he said that torture in the modern world has no place. But, unfortunately, it is not possible to completely eliminate this phenomenon. Tajikistan is an autocratic state. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations are sounding the alarm over the situation in Tajikistan in recent years, where torture is widespread: “there is an atmosphere of widespread corruption and impunity among law enforcement officers in this country.” According to human rights defenders, torture and ill-treatment of people are most often used in detention and investigation. Tajik police officers use inhumane methods to obtain confessions. According to Rachel Bagler, an expert at Amnesty International in Tajikistan,
those arrested are tortured with electric shock, poured boiling water, strangled, cauterized with cigarettes and raped. Only by signing a confession or paying a bribe can they get rid of their torment.

The deaths of prisoners in detention facilities occur during such “interrogations,” but in all the years in the country no law enforcement officer has been brought to trial for the death or injury of a detainee.
Torture victims are afraid to testify against their tormentors. Impunity and widespread corruption in Tajikistan allow police officers to use torture. They prefer inhumane methods to close a case over reprimands from superiors or dispossession for an unsolved crime. In addition, torture is also a source of income for police officers: they arrest and torture people, bring charges, and then offer to “pay to close the case.” Impunity is the norm in Tajikistan.

As for the authorities, Muhammadsobir Abdukahhor said at the end of the speech, they are “turning a blind eye” to this huge problem because they are interested in intimidating people so that they do not come to the attention of law enforcement officials.

Political movement “Group 24”