Representatives of GBAO civil society publish video appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

On February 11, 2022, civil society representatives from the "Group of 44" published a video appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), Michelle Bachelet. The speaker recounted the killing of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov in Tavdem and two peaceful protesters in Khorugh by security forces, as well as the efforts of the "Group of 44" to obtain justice. He criticized the "explicit and grave violation of the international principle of equality before the law enshrined in the Constitution of RT (Republic of Tajikistan) and international conventions and declarations", considering impunity for security forces involved in lethal shootings and severe sentences for civilians cutting trees.
The "Group of 44" emphasized that it had "made several written appeals through the state power vertical, starting from the head of the investigation team of the General Prosecutor's Office of RT responsible for the investigation of the events of November 25-28, 2021, the Governor of GBAO, the Minister of Internal Affairs of RT, and appealed in writing and in the form of a video statement addressed to the Chairman of the upper chamber of parliament of the RT. We appealed to the President of the country (...). Unfortunately, the heads of the law enforcement agencies, leadership of GBAO, and Khorog did not pay attention to the appeals of the Commission and the victims."
Referring to both national and international law, the speaker requests a "1) complete, comprehensive, independent investigation into the killings of three residents of GBAO, the use of lethal force against demonstrators and fair punishment of those responsible 2) ensuring further security of citizens, preventing violations of law and extrajudicial killings of citizens in future 3) withdrawal of armed forces from Khorog, due to which schoolchildren, pensioners, youth cannot move freely and safely 4) providing access to internet (...)."
The "Group of 44" appealed to to the UNHCHR "for creating of an authorised commission represented by the UN Human Rights Committee to conduct a thorough inspection of the lawfulness, completeness, comprehensiveness of the investigation in GBAO, assist with the persecution of those responsible for the deaths and injuries among civilians, withdrawal of armed officers from Khorog city, providing access to internet connection and demanding from our Government to fulfill the international obligations within the framework of the recognised and ratified human rights conventions (...)."

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