Author: Saleem el-Salik

Brussels (12/03 – 55.56) Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said that the dissolution of human rights NGOs signals a deteriorating environment for civil society and human rights defence in Tajikistan. She reiterated that Tajikistan must reconsider its attitudes towards civil society and view human rights defenders as allies instead of enemies. Earlier in November 2023, Tajikistan Minister of Justice announced that 700 NGOs in the country had been liquidated over an 18-month period. “Human rights defenders working on so-called sensitive issues, including freedom from torture, the right to housing and compensation for requisitioned land, minority rights, freedom of belief and good governance, political rights, and…

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SINGAPORE – The Chinese embassy in Singapore on March 18 asked its citizens in the Republic to “stay away” from gambling, adding that cross-border gambling violates Chinese laws. The embassy, in a statement on its official WeChat account, “solemnly reminded” Chinese citizens in Singapore to steer clear of gambling, which is strictly prohibited by law in China. “Even if overseas casinos are opened legally, cross-border gambling by Chinese citizens is suspected of violating the laws of our country and face the risk of punitive actions,” said the embassy, warning that embassies may not be able to provide consular protection for…

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Dubai (27/2) Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiralling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin…

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WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD, Feb 3 (Reuters) – The United States launched airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against more than 85 targets linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and militias it backs, reportedly killing nearly 40 people, in retaliation for a deadly attack on U.S. troops. The strikes, which included the use of long-range B-1 bombers flown from the United States, were the first in response to the attack last weekend in Jordan by Iran-backed militants, and more U.S. military operations are expected in the coming days. The strikes intensified a conflict that has spread into the region since war erupted between Israel and Hamas after the militant…

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Saying that the British merchant ship was bound for the ports in occupied Palestine, Saree stressed that the attack was conducted in support of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip which are under a brutal Israeli war. The operations of the Yemeni armed forces in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea against Israeli ships and ships bound for occupied Palestinian ports will continue until the attacks on Gaza stop and the blockade of the enclave is lifted, he added. The Yemeni forces have been conducting many such operations against Israeli vessels or those heading towards the occupied Palestinian territories’ ports.…

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Damascus province: SOHR initial reports have confirmed that two Iranian-backed militiamen, whose identities remain unknown, were killed in today’s airstrikes by Israeli fighter jets, which targeted a farm near the vocational school and the regime headquarters of the management of electronic warfare in southern Damascus. The Israeli airstrikes also targeted a position, that had been evacuated earlier, nearby Al-Ghezlaniyah town on the road to Damascus international airport, amid unconfirmed reports on more casualties. Earlier today, SOHR activists reported hearing loud explosions this dawn, which were caused by several airstrikes carried out by Israeli fighter jets, targeting a farm belonging to…

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The world’s largest shipping group, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has announced it is diverting its ships away from the Red Sea because of an increased threat of attacks. French company CMA CGM took a similar step a day after Danish shipping giant Maersk and German transport company Hapag-Lloyd suspended Red Sea journeys. The decision comes after attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. They say they are targeting ships travelling to Israel. The Houthis have declared their support for Hamas after Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza following the 7 October Hamas attacks that killed 1,200 people and saw…

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London (28/11 – 58) Tajikistan’s human rights record continues to deteriorate amid an increased crackdown on freedom of expression and the political opposition, as well as the targeting of independent lawyers, journalists, and family members of opposition activists abroad. Freedom of assembly is severely curtailed with any local protests, such as a series of protests in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region (GBAO), violently quashed. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Programme Office in Dushanbe, the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, and the Permanent Representation of France to the OSCE organized a study visit to Paris for government officials from…

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Frankfurt (11/09 – 20) Two international human rights organizations have called on the Tajikistan government to immediately release jailed lawyer and human rights activist Manuchehr Kholiknazarov, as well as other activists and journalists. The International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the international non-profit organization CIVICUS, which bills itself as “a global alliance aimed at strengthening the action of citizens and civil society around the world,” in their message published specially on the eve of Independence Day, September 8, focus on the fact that Tajik human rights activist and civil society activist Manuchehr Kholiknazarov was falsely sentenced to a long…

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Frankfurt, Brussels (6/10 – 27) While Tajik authorities have not been able to lay their hands on their activist opponents living in Europe, they are able to turn the screws on their families and relatives, back in the old country. The recent case of arrest of family members took place shortly after President Emomali Rahmon’s visit to Germany, to attend a summit of Central Asian leaders, at the end of last month. Throughout Rahmon’s visit, he was trailed by demonstrators holding up placards bearing pictures of political prisoners and calling him a dictator. When Rahmon headed to the Bundestag on…

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