The United Nations’ Committee on Human Rights Committee (HRC) has examined the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by the Republic of Tajikistan during its 126th session. The Committee’s experts pointed out the negative consequences of the absence of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation in Tajikistan, despite the creation in 2018 of a working group for this project, and the earlier recommendations of the UN HRC concerning providing protection to members of vulnerable groups against all forms of discrimination, including sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), as well as effective provision of compensation for damage.
The Committee noted the difficult situation of people with HIV in Tajikistan, due to biased attitude from representatives of various services and existing barriers in access to healthcare led to the spread of infectious diseases.
The HRC has paid particular attention to the rights of LGBTI people, who suffer from deeply rooted homophobia and transphobia, are subject to unlawful arrests and harassment, abuse, violence, extortion of money by law enforcement officers. Experts of UN HRC expressed their regret about the public condemnation of homosexuality by Tajikistan officials, mentioning the statement made by the country’s ombudsman about the impossibility to implement the recommendations of the international human rights organizations on the rights of LGBT people because of “the moral and ethical norms concerning the relations between people in the country”. During the review of Tajikistan’s report, the Committee asked if the LGBT personal registry created by the law enforcement agencies would be abolished. However, Rahmon Yusuf, Attorney General of Tajikistan and the head of the country’s delegation at the session, denied the existence of such a registry despite massive evidence presented by the victims.
UN HRC members recommended that the authorities of Tajikistan provide effective protection against all forms of discrimination based on SOGI, provide for the inadmissibility of approving discriminatory and violent behavior towards LGBTI people, and provide compensation of damages to victims; as well as fight against homophobic and transphobic discourse, including through trainings for law enforcement officers and other officials and other educational activities aimed at a broader public; examine existing law enforcement practices and ensure that LGBTI people were not listed in the special registry, and finally put an end to the violation of the right to privacy, freedom and security.
Noting the existing problems of inequality between men and women, as well as domestic violence and polygamy, the Committee recommended adopting measures to ensure gender equality, particularly by increasing women’s representation in political and public life, ensuring compliance with effective legal prohibition of polygamy and organizing adequate information campaigns.
Mentioning a special operation in Khorog in 2012, UN HRC experts regretfully noted the lack of information on the results of the investigation of violent crimes against civilians and recommended once again to draw to responsibility the perpetrators of these crimes, as well as to provide adequate compensation to the victims.