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Submission by the NGO Coalition against Torture to the EU-Tajikistan Human Rights Dialogue

Submission on Freedom from Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Tajikistan

This briefing — prepared by the Public Fund “Nota Bene” in cooperation with the NGO Coalition against Torture in Tajikistan — briefly reviews the situation in the area of freedom from torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and provides recommendations to the authorities of Tajikistan. We hope that the information provided in the report will be useful for the Human Rights Dialogue.

On 15 August 2013, Matlubkhon Davlatov, Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan and Chairman of the Commission for the Implementation of International Human Rights Obligations, approved a government Action Plan for implementation of the recommendations issued by the Committee against Torture after its review of Tajikistan in November 2012 and the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (hereafter the Special Rapporteur on Torture) during his visit to Tajikistan in May 2012 (A/HRC/22/53.Add.1). The Action Plan foresees a series of actions purportedly intended to ensure the implementation of these recommendations and provides details of timelines and the authorities responsible for implementation.

While noting this positive development, the Coalition against Torture regrets that Tajikistani civil society organizations were not involved in drawing up the Action Plan and that the comments and recommendations the Coalition against Torture sent to the authorities were not reflected in the final
document.

Regrettably, the Action plan does not provide clear indicators, which would allow for implementation to be measured or assessed. For example, the plan proposes measures such as “studying the possibility of” and “analysis of the necessity of developing and implementing” and does not refer to concrete activities to implement the recommendations made by the Committee against Torture. During the meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur Mr Juan Mendez in the frame of his visit to Tajikistan in February 2014, the state representatives report that working groups have been set up for the implementation of the recommendations, but civil society in Tajikistan has not been informed about the composition and focus of these working groups.

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