U.S. Responds to Sentencing of IRPT Lawyers

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, October 7, 2016 – The United States notes with concern significant due process deficiencies in the trial of defense attorneys Buzurgmehr Yorov and Nuriddin Mahkamov, who were sentenced on October 6 to prison terms of 23 and 21 years. We have urged the Government of Tajikistan to conduct trials in a fair and transparent manner and in accordance with Tajikistan’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The lack of necessary legal protections afforded to Yorov and Mahkamov, and to other independent voices, impedes Tajikistan’s democratic development. The United States calls on the authorities of Tajikistan to ensure that all lawyers are able to conduct their work without fear of threat or harassment, including arbitrary arrest or prosecution. We believe that Tajikistan’s long-term prosperity, security, and stability requires the government’s full commitment to protecting the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens.