Ахбори Анҷуман

Stage-four cancer of conscience?

(An open letter of the Forum of Tajik Freethinkers to International organizations)

A disease of moral degradation, dehumanization and decay of conscience has affected even some representatives of the most humane profession, the profession of doctor, physician or curer.

The Tajik society and the international community were witnessing a discovery of the incurable stage-four cancer of conscience last Friday, June 27, 2018, by Ms. Saida Umarzoda, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan.

During a press conference in connection with the state of health of a four-year-old Ibrohim (Hamza) Tillozoda, whose mother is not allowed to leave Tajikistan to save the child, Ms. Umarzoda said, that boy has the stage-four cancer. She stated, he does not need to be treated abroad, that ill is not curable, as she said; the child is going to die.

Such a shocking and unimaginable statement in a civilized and healthy society and state in terms of its cynicism, was made by a high-ranking doctor of Tajikistan on the background of justification of the Tajik authorities’ excuse of a police ban and depriving the mother of a child, whose a passport and birth certificates and even a cell phone were confiscated, to prevent her, Mizhgona Zayniddinova from taking her child abroad for an urgent surgery.

Everything was taken away from her except the life of the child and the hope of his salvation. Hope, as every doctor should know, dies last.

Ms. Saida Umarzoda as an official of the Tajik government, takes away the last thing that remains with the mother, kills her hope of saving the child, voicing the justification of the authorities’ unwillingness to release the child and his mom from the country.

We, the citizens of Tajikistan, know a reason of this kind of behaviour of the authorities. Citizens of civilized countries simply find it hard to believe in the 21st century. The Tajik authorities urge not to politicize this issue, but they themselves made the woman and her ill child a hostage of a political persecution; even not only the opposition forces and one of its leaders, the head of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan Mr. Muhiddin Kabiri, but also his relatives, a son, grandson and daughter-in-law have become their political hostages.

The Deputy minister just justifies this political hostage to a child cancer patient and the reluctance of the authorities to lose such leverage and a tool of pressure on their critic and opponent – Mr. Muhiddin Kabiri. It’s terrible that in this slow, inhuman torture of an innocent child, participates a doctor.

Ms. Umarzoda, apparently, has forgotten the Hippocratic Oath, has not considered Avicenna’s Canons to be worth following.

Ms. Umarzoda apparently has other canons, and she forgot that the ministry in which she works with the money of the taxpayers was created for public health and social protection, and not to protect and guard the authorities from the population.

It seems a too high-ranking doctor cannot see the rules of medical ethics, the norms of human morality, pain, compassion and mercy, as well as the criminal code.

Failure to provide medical assistance, refuse to provide assistance to the needy and prevent the provision of emergency medical care to others is not only a criminal offense, it is a crime against morality and ethics, against humanity.

We appeal to International organizations and the world community to provide an adequate assessment of the infringement of civil rights by the Tajik authorities and the justification by Ms. Umarzoda, Deputy Minister of Health of Tajikistan, to prevent the seriously ill child from free movement and the right to treatment and life.

We urge International organizations and community to demand from the government of Tajikistan that they unquestioningly fulfill their obligations to respect the rights of children in accordance with the Declaration of the Rights of Child of 1959 and 1929, the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 and other International legal instruments.

We consider and will try to convey our position to foreign and International humanitarian organizations and bodies in the field of health that Ms. Umarzoda, who has found the incurable stage-four cancer of conscience and professional honour, is already unsuitable for receiving grants from humanitarian funds and organizations for making overseas trips and participating in symposia and conferences.

We believe that in Tajikistan there will come a time when an adequate legal assessment of the crime against humanity will be investigated and the names of those who committed them and those who helped them commit these crimes against freedom, dignity, life, morals, laws and the Constitution of Tajikistan.


Forum of Tajik Freethinkers


Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

UN Women (UN Women)

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

The World Health Organization (WHO)

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

Save the Children

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRC)

Amnesty International (Amnesty International)

Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE ODIHR)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

The World Bank (The World Bank)

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The Open Society Institute (OSIAF)

German state bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)

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