Statement of the National Alliance of Tajikistan on Khujand tragedy

The National Alliance of Tajikistan (NAT) mourns the fellow citizens killed as a result of the bloody events at a high-security prison in the northern Tajik city of Khujand (ITK-3), where according to the latest data 53 people were killed and 186 people were wounded, and expresses deep condolences to the relatives of all the dead, both inmates and prison guards of the penitentiary, also wishes recovery to all victims. At the same time, NAT considers it necessary to state:

1) There was a massive execution of prisoners. We regard the incident as an inhuman, illegal act that grossly violates the obligations of the country’s leadership in accordance with “The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT))” signed by Tajikistan, adopted by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of December 10, 1984 and entered into force on June 26, 1987.

Even if it believes the reports that this massacre of prisoners was caused by a riot at the prison, even in this case, the authorities had to take other measures of pacification to avoid bloodshed and to negotiate with the alleged rebels, avoiding the thought of total destruction of everyone who was there.

2) According to one official source that wished to remain anonymous, in an interview with one of the Tajik independent media abroad, a reason that provoked the unrest among the inmates of the ITK-3 strict regime prison in Khujand was the inhuman and degrading treatment of inmates by the prison guards.

To deep regret, cruelty, torture and abuse of the dignity of inmates have become commonplace and a daily norm in the prisons of Tajikistan, and even more so — occur with the encouragement and at the direction of some high-ranking law enforcement officials.

In an official UN letter to the Government of Tajikistan in connection with the case of Mahmadali Khaitov, the Tajik authorities have already openly and unequivocally pointed out the inadmissibility of such actions and such inhuman and unlawful treatment of prisoners.

3) NAT in connection with the bloody event at the high-security prison in the city of Khujand (ITK-3) on November 7, 2018 urges the United Nations and all international human rights institutions and organizations to demand from the leadership of Tajikistan to establish a Commission consisting of government representatives, representatives of international human rights organizations, civil society and relatives of the victims with a view to conducting a thorough investigation and obtaining comprehensive answers to this national tragedy. The true reasons for the outbreak of violence in the jail should be identified and all individuals responsible for mass execution of prisoners and responsible for this should be identified and punished.

The National Alliance of Tajikistan

November 12, 2018


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