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    March 06, 2015

    Associates of Umarali Kuvvatov, a founding member of a Tajikistan opposition group, are at grave risk of further attacks after he was shot dead in Istanbul last night, Amnesty International said today. 

    Umarali Kuvvatov and his family previously told the organization he had received threats, as well as tips from sympathizers that there had been “orders” to harm them, allegedly coming from the highest levels of Tajikistan’s authorities.

    “Umarali Kuvvatov’s killing sends a chilling and extreme message to Tajikistani political dissenters both at home and abroad. The Turkish authorities must lead an impartial, effective and prompt investigation into his unlawful killing, reveal the full truth and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.

    “We have received reports of death threats and attempted assassinations of dissenters from Tajikistan in foreign countries in recent years, but this is the first actual killing of a Tajikistani political activist. It begs the immediate question: how many more are at risk?”

    June 13, 2014

    Tajikistan must immediately cease a campaign of harassment and violence against people accused of “moral crimes”, Amnesty International said today. Police have seized more than 500 sex workers and a number of men suspected of ‘homosexual behaviour’ since 6 June.  

    In a series of midnight sweeps in the capital, Dushanbe, police picked up those they suspected of sex work or other “moral crimes” – including a pregnant woman and three men suspected of being gay.

    They were bundled into police vans and several reported being beaten by police.

    “These midnight raids, disguised as a campaign to ensure public morality, are in truth an exercise in discrimination and ill-treatment,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia.

    “Reports of police beatings, threats, sexual violence and invasive forced medical procedures suggest the Ministry of Internal Affairs needs to address the abuses allegedly meted out by officers as a matter of urgency.”

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