IAPL: Lawyers’ Day in Tajikistan

Today is “Lawyers’ Day” in Tajikistan, when lawyers celebrate the establishment of the first Bar Association.The situation of lawyers in Tajikistan remains concerning and, on what should be a day of celebration, Lawyers for Lawyers would like to pay attention to the human rights lawyers Burzurgmehr Yorov and Manuchehr Kholiknazarov.

Burzurgmehr Yorov

In December, Lawyers for Lawyers and Freedom Now have expressed their concern about the on-going imprisonment of lawyer Buzurghmehr Yorov in a joint letter to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan.

On 6 October 2016, Mr. Yorov was found guilty for several violations of the Criminal Code and sentenced to 23 years imprisonment. In 2017, his sentence was increased with 5 years for insulting government officials. Mr. Yorov received a total sentence of 28 years, which was reduced by six years in the mass amnesty of December 2019.

According to our information, Mr. Yorov has suffered serious ill-treatment and is at grave risk at the moment. On 16 November 2022, he was placed in solitary confinement in a punishment cell for expressing its disagreement with the President. Here, Mr. Yorov is reportedly tortured, which has even led to hospitalization.

Manuchehr Kholiknazarov

On May 30, 2022, Manuchehr was detained by employees of the security services and the prosecutor’s office on charges of being a member of a criminal organization. The arrest is related to his role in Commission 44. In December 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. While he was in pre-trial detention in Dushanbe he was allegedly tortured to coerce a confession.

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Lawyers’ Day in Tajikistan