Tajikistan authorities should investigate disproportionate use of force in special operation | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Tajikistan authorities should investigate disproportionate use of force in special operation

Tajikistan authorities should investigate disproportionate use of force in special operation

In July 2012, Tajikistani authorities used disproportional force in a special operation in the mountainous Pamir region of Tajikistan, bordering Afghanistan. Officially, the authorities were aiming to arrest criminals linked to militant forces in Afghanistan. Effectively, communications lines were cut off for a long period of time, a large number of civilians suffered in terms of property damage and injuries, and more than 22 people died. One year later, the authorities have failed to provide adequate information on the details around what happened and which legal acts are being taken to punish those involved.

–Tajikistan should not be given the opportunity to justify the operation against potential militant elements with links to Afghanistan, says Lene Wetteland, Central Asia advisor in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Civilians were not warned about the coming attack, disproportionate use of force took place in an isolated area, and even privates in the law enforcement bodies suffered from a lack of food and medical care during the operation.

The Civic Solidarity Platform, where the NHC is also a member, sent a monitoring mission to the region in August 2012, and their monitoring report is now available in Russian and English. In the report, the organizations urge the authorities to provide information on the motives and goals for the special operation, the exact number of victims among the local population and the law enforcement and security bodies, and investigations into the deaths and injuries.

Read the report on the Civil Solidarity Platform website here