(Bishkek) – Tajikistan’s security services have taken new actions against relatives of at least three political activists abroad who engage in peaceful criticism of the government, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today.
Tajik security services have arbitrarily detained, interrogated, and seized the property of family members, and in one case badly beat and ill-treated a relative who is currently imprisoned on politically motivated charges. The United States, the European Union, and other key international actors should make unequivocal calls for the Tajik government to stop retaliating against relatives of perceived government critics, the groups said.
“Tajikistan’s intimidation of individuals for a family member’s peaceful political activity is as shameful as it is inexcusable,” said Marius Fossum, Norwegian Helsinki Committee regional representative in Central Asia. “Tajik authorities should immediately stop the arbitrary seizure of property and all other acts of retaliation.”