Thursday, September 21st, 2023

Gulbarg Sayfova: “Well done, mothers, sisters and daughters of political prisoners and activists”.

I would like to talk about discrimination against women in Tajikistan. Among Central Asian countries, Tajikistan rates lowest in internationally comparable indices of gender equality and ranked 137 of 158 countries in 2020.

Let’s take a look at the issue of gender discrimination in Tajikistan from another point of view. In addition to the fact that Tajikistan ranked among the 20 worst countries in the world in terms of discrimination against women, some women face much more serious discrimination.

In particular, wives and mothers of political prisoners are seriously discriminated against in Tajikistan. Unfortunately, wives and mothers of political prisoners are under constant pressure of the law enforcement agencies.

For example, wife and daughter of Rahmatullohi Rajab, the IRPT member and a political prisoner, were repeatedly subjected to pressure and torture by the law enforcement agencies.

Also, a wife of Mahmadali Hait, the IRPT member and a political prisoner, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, disappeared for 2 days in 2016, and later was found out, that she was detained by the law enforcement agencies along with her son, Firuz, who is also here in this hall today.

There are a lot of cases, when wives and daughters of political prisoners have been subjected to pressure, persecution and even torture in Tajikistan.
Another issue is the pressure, harassment, torture and travel ban imposed on wives and mothers of political activists. For example, the Tajik authorities did not allow the mother of Abdusattor Boboev, who is also a here in this hall today, to leave Tajikistan, even though she was very ill.

The law enforcement agencies arrested the mother of Anora Sarkorova, an independent journalist a native of Badakhshan, at her home in June 2022. The question is, what is the fault of this journalist’s mother, that she was arrested and subjected to pressure?
It is true that in general being a mother, sister, wife and generally a woman is something to be proud of, but in Tajikistan being a mother, sister or wife of a political activist is not an easy task, because you will always be subject to pressure and persecution and you will have to be responsible for the activities of your son or husband or father.

Finally, I would like to announce this: Well done, mothers, sisters and daughters of political prisoners and activists, who endured so much oppression and persecution and say to their loved ones: “Continue and bring a change in this country!”

Thank you for your attention!

Gulbarg Sayfova, civil society activist and wife of a political prisoner

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