In January 2020, there were once again crackdowns in Tajikistan as such crackdowns of 1937 year. A new widespread purge and hunt for dissidents have been launched. Unlike the previous crackdowns and repressions of opposition parties and political activists that have been carried out by Emomali Rahmon’s government during the last 27 years, the recently arrested persons are non-political intellectuals, university lecturers and students as well students from journalistic faculty and family members of prominent religious figures. These intellectuals have been persecuted by those, who have fake degrees and who cannot read properly the Constitution.
These intellectuals were arrested on charges of studying religious knowledge outside the country and having links to Ikhwan-ul-muslimin (Muslim Brotherhood). Thus, the Tajik authorities obviously violated the article 26 of the Constitution that stating:
“Everyone shall have the right freely to determine his position toward religion, to profess any religion individually or jointly with others or not to profess any and to take part in religious customs and ceremonies.”
By irresponsibly splitting the Tajik society into small fractions and forming various images of “enemies” and by planting the seeds of discord in the society, the regime of Emomali Rahmon puts people of Tajikistan against each other. Previously there were various kinds of persecution and crackdowns on members of political parties and religious groups such as “Rastokhez”, Democratic Party, Social-democratic Party, IRPT, Salafismand National Alliance of Tajikistan, as well as inciting the Sunnis against the Shiites.
Rahmon’s regime leads the country in a vicious circle of search for new enemies. The regime does not care for promoting pluralism and flourishing the economy of the country, but it is a vicious circle of deception, fear, theft and degradation. The authorities spread the fear and terror in the society, in order to weaken the will of the people in defending their rights and bringing change and prosperity.
New wave of arrests is a signal to the people of Tajikistan and international community that the parliamentary and presidency elections would not be held fair in 2020. On the eve of the elections, the legal political forces are willing to enlist support of all groups and influential figures. The recently arrested ones have influence in the society. In case of a fair elections, no adequate political force will crack on the intellectuals down on the eve of the elections. Moreover, the regime in every possible way tries to create barriers for the only legally real opposition party, Social-democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT).
Therefore, the Rahmon regime in reality confessed that fair elections would not be held in 2020 such as the last 27 years, but continues its unconstitutional crime, being in the power by force. Moreover, in such situations, when mass arrests and torture continue which looks like a state of emergency, the legality of the results of the elections would be questioned.
However, in addition to intimidating the society, the current wave of repression and crackdown could have a commercial purpose. This is a method of extortion and bargaining both at the grassroots level and at the highest level – at level of relations with creditors and “foreign bosses” (khojagoni khoriji), as Rahmon himself likes to name it.
Freedom and dignity of the citizens have become as “goods” for business for this regime.
The National Alliance of Tajikistan demands that the Tajik authorities release all arrested people immediately and stop the new wave of repression against the intellectuals and dissidents as well as make an end to the interrogations, torture and extortion.
The Alliance also demands the government to provide full information about what is going for the public as well as to provide independent lawyers and human rights defender for the arrested one.
The National Alliance of Tajikistan