Tag Archives: amnesty

Tajik Opposition Leader Proposes Civil War Amnesty

On May 8, the chairman of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) Muhiddin Kabiri sent an open letter [taj] to President Emomali Rahmon, urging him to pardon all inmates who remain in jail for crimes committed during the country’s civil war. This year, Tajikistan celebrates the 15th anniversary of the peace deal that put an end to the violent conflict which claimed an estimated 50,000 lives from 1992-1997. In his letter, Kabiri asked the Tajik leader to show mercy and to mark the anniversary by granting a full amnesty to all opposition and pro-government militants who are still in jail.

It has been a tradition in the country to pardon thousands of inmates on major anniversaries. Since 1991, Tajik authorities have carried out 13 amnesties, releasing from jail more than 110,000 individuals. Last year, when the country celebrated the 20th anniversary of its independence, about 15,000 individuals serving prison sentences or being placed in pre-trial detention were either freed or had their terms reduced. The 1997 peace accords granted an amnesty to all individuals who had taken part in the civil war and agreed to put down their weapons. However, that amnesty as well as all subsequent ones did not extend to hundreds of detainees who had been convicted of “grave crimes” such as murder and terrorism committed during the civil war.

According to Kabiri, most such inmates have already served more than half their terms, becoming old and suffering from deteriorated health conditions in overcrowded and decrepit correction facilities. “Today, these are mostly old and sick individuals who pose no real threat to society,” he wrote.
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Large Scale Prison Amnesty Announced in Tajikistan

Ahead of Tajikistan’s 20th independence anniversary on 9 September, President Emomali Rahmon sent a draft law to the country’s parliament on July 27, which would grant full amnesty or reduced terms for nearly 15,000 individuals serving prison sentences and awaiting legal proceedings in pre-trial detention. Over 8,500 may be released from jail under the proposed amnesty, which will extend to all female inmates, minors, convicts over the age of 55, disabled inmates, foreign nationals, veterans of the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, military deserters, and those suffering from cancer, tuberculosis or other serious illnesses. Prisoners eligible for release will also include those sentenced for crimes of negligence, other offences punishable by jail terms not exceeding five years, and economic crimes if the convicts have fully repaid the financial losses they caused.

The amnesty will also extend to members of outlawed Islamic groups and political movements who were convicted of extremism and imprisoned for up to five years or have served three quarters of their terms. The amnesty will also pardon an unknown number of dissident Colonel Mahmud Khudoyberdiyev’s followers who did not recognize the conditions of the peace accord that ended the 1992-1997 civil war in the country and launched a rebellion against government forces in 1997, invading what is now the country’s northern region of Sughd from Uzbekistan a year later. Prisoners falling under this category will be freed if they have served most of their prison terms unless they were convicted of terrorism, murder, or other serious crimes.
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