Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

Six Years Since the Supreme Court of Tajikistan Sentenced IRPT Supreme Board Members

Six years ago, on June 2, the Supreme Court of Tajikistan issued its groundless, illegal and biased verdict against political prisoners, former members of the Supreme Board of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). Of course, judge Sattorzoda A., the presiding judge of the trial, Nurmatov F., Nu’monzoda Z. and Kurbanov A., the public prosecutors, did not have any freedom during the trial and could not do anything.

The verdict was already issued in September 2015, nine months before that. When the authorities declared the IRPT extremist and terrorist organization on September 29, 2015, by this decision all IRPT members, especially the members of the IRPT Supreme Board, were considered extremists and terrorists. However, there were no evidence of them committing any terrorist or extremist activities, and no court has ruled for that in this matter.

It should be noted that the action of the organization is a set of actions of its members. However, not every action of the member of the organization is considered to be committed on behalf of the organization. Courts and prosecutors should not forget about the concept of “an excess of the perpetrator” (Article 38 of the Criminal Code). This action must necessarily be within the scope of competence and the Charter of the organisation, with the consent of the organization’s management. In other cases, any action of a member of the organization or any its body is considered to be their personal action.

This matter is one of the weakest points of the verdict in the case of these political prisoners. The court considered these individuals as extremists and terrorists without any court verdict and before the start of the case hearing. Is it possible that their organization, their leader and their body were extremists and terrorists and they were not?! What else could the prosecutors and the court do? Do they have the courage and power to question the decisions of the higher authorities? Why these defendants were not given the opportunity to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court on September 29, 2015? This is one of the aspects that reveal the inaccuracy of the court’s verdict against them.

During the investigation and trial, the rights and freedoms of these people were grossly violated. Insults, torture, blackmail, restricting access to lawyers, denying the defendants’ requests, conducting the trial behind closed doors and in pre-trial detention facilities, making the trial and the court verdict secret, pressure on lawyers, pressure on the relatives of the defendants, prohibiting them to apply to organizations and institutions, falsification of evidence, baseless conclusions of experts, etc. indicate that the court verdicts were illegal.

No one considers these court verdicts legal and justified except those who issued them. After analysing and validating the data on the course of the investigation and the trial, international human rights organizations and even the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called the detention and imprisonment of them arbitrary and unjustified. They called Tajik law enforcement agencies and the government several times to release them immediately or review their case. But the government remained silent in response.

The political prisoners appealed to the authorities and the president with letters several times, but the prison officers did not send them to the addressees. At last, on 01.11.2021, Zubaidullo Roziq and Jobir  Rahmatullo Rajab appealed to President Emomali Rahmon with an open letter requesting to reconsider their cases. This letter was published. However, the Executive Office of the President has not yet responded to this letter. For writing a letter and appealing to the president himself, these two political prisoners were tortured by the prison officers. They were punished for some time and placed in solitary confinement. We will publish this letter on Buzurgmehr Foundation website once again, and we hope that the relevant authorities will give an official response to the letter of these two political prisoners. We hope that this baseless verdict will be reconsidered in an open trial with the participation of representatives of civil society and the journalists.

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