02/14/2020

Urgent Action: Journalist Jailed and at Risk of Torture (Tajikistan: UA 17.20)


Independent journalist, Daler Sharipov, was arrested on 28 January and is held in pre-trial detention in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on trumped up charges of “inciting religious discord”. Daler Sharipov is being denied access to his lawyer and is at risk of torture. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 17.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon
Executive Office of the President
Prospect Rudaki, 80
Dushanbe 734001
Republic of Tajikistan
Contact form: http://www.president.tj/en
Twitter: @EmomaliRahmon
Ambassador Farhod Salim
Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan
1005 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20037
Phone: 202 223 6090 I Fax: 202 223 6091
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @FarhodSalim
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Mr. President,

On 28 January well-known independent journalist Daler Sharipov was detained by State Committee for National Security (SNCS) officers for purportedly “inciting religious discord” under Article 189 of the Criminal Code. Many of Daler Sharipov’s publications have been critical of the government, and throughout his career he has covered various matters of public interest, including human rights violations and religious freedom.

On 30 January Daler Sharipov appeared at Ismoili Somoni District Court in Dushanbe, which ruled to place him in pre-trial detention for two months. On 1 February the Prosecutor General’s Office issued a statement accusing Daler Sharipov of publishing “extremist” articles on religious matters and purported that he is linked to a banned extremist organization. Article 189 has a very broad and vague definition of “extremism”, and over the years has been repeatedly used in politically motivated criminal cases against dissenting voices in Tajikistan.

Daler Sharipov’s arrest and prosecution is retribution for his critical publications and his work as a journalist. He has not committed any recognizable criminal offense, and via his critical publications he has exercised his right to freedom of expression. I am concerned not only by his unfounded prosecution but also the reports that for days after his arrest, his lawyer has been denied access to Daler Sharipov.

Over the years, the work of the SCNS, the agency which is investigating his case, has been marred by numerous allegations of use of torture and other ill-treatment, including to extract “confessions” from detainees.

I urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure that Daler Sharipov is released immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Yours sincerely,

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