After the story of the release of the 4-year old Ibrohim Hamza Tillozoda from Tajikistan, we, Tajik civil activists, representatives of socio-political groups and groups, human rights organizations, and party representatives abroad believed that this incident would be a lesson for the Tajik government and law enforcement agencies.
We hoped that the Tajik authorities would no longer hold hostage to the relatives and friends of the opposition. But, to our regret, Hamza’s story did not become a lesson for them.
The international campaign in defense of Hamza was no more than a halt as the Tajik authorities once again rudely violated constitutional civil rights and prevented the flight of a young daughter and mother of Tajik human rights activist Shabnam Khudoydodova abroad this time.
Tajik security services on the morning of August 4, 2018, removed the 10-year-old Fotima Davlatova and a 65-year-old mother Gulichamalamo Khudoydodova — daughter and mother Shabnam Khudoydodova — from the Dushanbe-Almaty flight. Gulichamalamo Hudoydodova intended to take her granddaughter to Poland, where Shabnam Khudoydodova emigrated in 2016 and where she received a political asylum.
Representatives of the security service told the elderly mother of the human rights defender that they are under surveillance with their granddaughter, their names are on the blacklist and they have no right to leave Tajikistan. Such action by Tajik national security personnel, according to the current legislation of the country, grossly violates the laws of Tajikistan.
According to the legislation of Tajikistan, persons subject to restrictions on the right to leave the country can be:
— employees of state security agencies and law enforcement agencies;
— Citizens who are admitted to information that constitutes a state secret;
— citizens who serve in the Armed Forces of the country;
— Suspected in the criminal case; debtors.
It is quite obvious that the 10-year-old Fotima and the 65-year-old elderly mother of Shabnam Khudoydodova are not suitable for either of these categories.
The reason for the removal from the flight of the 10-year-old Fotima and her grandmother, the National Security Service officially called the presence in the documents proving their identity, some unnamed flaws and defects.
If this were the case, how could they pass the border control? Border guards would not allow them to pass and take seats in the cabin of the aircraft.
In connection with the recent history of the 4-year-old Ibrokhim Hamza, Tajik border guards also reported that they do not have any legal grounds, restrictions and travel bans for the boy.
Withdrawal from the voyage to the daughter and mother of Shabnam Khudoydodova once again clearly showed that the decision to ban is not based on the very legal grounds that the border guards reported.
These illegal actions of the National Security Service officials once again prove that the reason for the illegal ban on the departure of the daughter and mother of Shabnam Khudoydodova is only their relationship with her as a political opponent of the authorities and human rights activist.
This is an exact repetition of the authorities’ action in regards to a similar situation with the seriously ill Hamza, the grandson of Mukhidin Kabiri, the chairman of the IRPT. Taking political opponents’ relatives and friends by the authorities in order to use them as an instrument of pressure on the oppositionists is an illigal act and an inhuman, uncivilized act. In this connection, parties, social groups and civil activists created a headquarters at the general meeting, whose activities will be directed to a comprehensive struggle for the liberation of political hostages in Tajikistan.
The activities of this Headquarters will not be limited only to the case with Fotima and her grandmother.
The headquarters in the near future intends to create a list of all the relatives and close people of the Opponents or the opposition of the Tajik authorities who are currently in Tajikistan and travel abroad for the purpose of reuniting with the family, which the Tajik authorities are against and work against in every possible way, violating the norms of the Constitution and laws of Tajikistan.
We prepare appeals to relevant UN Committees and international human rights organizations.
It was decided to widely publicize this systemic problem in the media, write petitions, hold rallies and demonstrations at the Tajik embassies in various countries around the world.
We intend to force the Tajik authorities to stop using the relatives and the close ones to the oppositionists as political hostages, as an object of psychological torture, denied the right to treatment, freedom, education, travel, family reunification.
These thousands of political hostages are used by the Tajik authorities as an instrument of pressure on dissidents or opponents and persecution for the exercise of the constitutional rights of citizens.
We intend to get the authorities to completely abandon this shameful and criminal practice.
At the same time, if such an offer is received, we are ready to meet the authorities to discuss this systemic human rights issue at a round table in any safe place in the world.
Staff of the Rescue of Political Hostages in Tajikistan
August 5, 2018