The ninth Tajikistan-USA annual bilateral consultations held in Dushanbe yesterday

The Tajik MFA information department says the delegations, led by Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, discussed a wide range of issues related to further expansion of bilateral political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States.

The parties reportedly also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues being of mutual interest, including issues of addressing modern threats and challenges, human rights issues and strengthening of bilateral relations within international organizations and so forth.

Mr. Donald Lu began tour of Central Asian nations on May 23 and Kyrgyzstan was the first leg of his tour.Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry says he met with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubayev on the same day.The parties reportedly discussed current issues of the Kyrgyz-USA relations as well as regional and global agenda.Separately, they considered the issues of minimizing the negative impact of international sanctions on the economy of Kyrgyzstan and the necessity of intensifying assistance in strengthening border security. By the end of the meeting, parties confirmed their mutual intention to continue a constructive dialogue on a wide range of bilateral cooperation, Kyrgyz MFA noted.

On May 24, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs visited Uzbekistan and he met with Uzbek Deputy PM/Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov on the same day.Uzbek media reports say the parties discussed topical aspects of multifaceted Uzbek-U.S. ties and commended the tangible progress achieved in cooperation in the field of bilateral and regional partnership.The sides reportedly also focused on deepening cooperation in trade, economic, investment, transport and logistics areas and explored opportunities for practical cooperation in the field of attracting U.S. businesses to the implementation of projects in Uzbekistan.

Kazakhstan is the last leg of Mr. Lu’s Central Asian tour.In Kazakhstan, the delegation is expected to meet with senior Kazakhstani officials and civil society leaders to discuss Kazakhstan’s reform agenda, efforts to strengthen human rights protections, and advance women’s empowerment.

Donald Lu became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021.Prior to this assignment, Assistant Secretary Lu served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2018 to 2021 and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania from 2015-2018.Before his posting in Albania, Assistant Secretary Lu worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as the Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response in the Department of State.Mr. Lu is a Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of U.S. government service.

He graduated from Princeton University with both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international relations.He speaks Albanian, Russian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Urdu, Hindi, and West African Krio.

Source: Asia-Plus

Permanent Representative of Tajikistan Meets UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs

On May 25, the Permanent Representative of Tajikistan to the UN Jonibek Hikmat met with the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca.

The meeting focused on issues of mutual interest, as well as on regional security and the impact of the current political and social processes on the international community.

The parties also expressed readiness to further expand and deepen their cooperation in relevant areas.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

Dushanbe Hosts Political Consultations with US

Yesterday, Dushanbe hosted the ninth round of annual political consultations between Tajikistan and the US.

The consultations were chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sirodjiddin Muhriddin and the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu.

The consultations focused on a wide range of issues related to the development of bilateral relations in the political, economic, scientific, and cultural fields, as well as in the fields of health, education, and other issues of mutual interest.

The parties also exchanged views on countering contemporary threats and challenges, human rights and strengthening bilateral relations within the framework of international organizations.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

Tajikistan to Participate in SCO Environment Ministers Meeting in Tashkent

Tomorrow, the Chairman of the Committee for Environmental Protection Bahodur Sheralizoda will attend the third meeting of the heads of ministries and departments of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) responsible for environmental issues.

The meeting will focus on further developing cooperation in the field of environmental protection, taking into account modern realities.

The participants are expected to exchange views on environmental monitoring, biodiversity, protection of natural areas, climate change mitigation, scientific and technical cooperation, solid waste management, and capacity building.

Following the meeting, the Program for the Joint Creation of the SCO Single Platform for the Exchange of Environmental Information is expected to be approved.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan

Massive brawl involving 12 school students takes place in Dushanbe’s Girpozem area

Dushanbe police say 12 school children were engaged in the fight.All of them were reportedly identified and their parents were fined.

“Following the incident, police officers undertook a number of the operative investigation activities and identified the brawl participants.The preliminary investigation has established that students of several high schools quarreled among themselves.No one was seriously injured in the mass brawl,” says statement released by the Dushanbe Police Directorate.

Administrative protocols were reportedly drawn up against 12 parents in accordance with Article 90 of the Administrative Code of Tajikistan -- failure to fulfill the duties of guardianship, education and upbringing of minors, and fines in amounts ranging from three to seven calculating indicators (current calculating indicator (estimate) is equal to 64.00 somonis) were imposed on them.

Source: Asia-Plus

Tajikistan: Stop Abusing Autonomous Region Protesters

Effectively Investigate Use of Lethal Force; Release Journalist; Restore Communications

(Berlin) — Tajik authorities should ensure an effective investigation into police use of force leading to civilian deaths and casualties during May 2022 protests in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also immediately end abuses against protesters in the towns of Khorog and Rushan, whom central Tajik authorities have labeled “militants” and “members of terrorist groups.”

Tajik police detained at least 46 Gorno-Badakhshan locals in connection with protests on May 16-19 including an independent journalist and activist, Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoeva, whom they accuse of publicly calling for violence to change the constitutional order. The police have categorized her case as “secret,” which makes monitoring the case impossible.

“Tajik citizens in the autonomous region were peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly to protest abuses against their community when the police engaged in excessive force,” said Syinat Sultanalieva, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Tajik authorities should immediately stop harassing protesters, investigate the abuses against them, and restore communications in the region to allow citizens access to information.”

Tajik authorities claim the May protests that erupted following months of persecution of local people after the November protests of 2021 were organized by criminal groups with connections to terrorist organizations. When protests peacefully resumed on May 14 and 16, media reports indicate that the police violently dispersed them using rubber bullets and teargas, with military support deployed from the capital, Dushanbe.

On May 18, the Tajik authorities announced a special “anti-terrorism operation” in the region after residents of Rushan village blocked the only road connecting Dushanbe with Khorog. The UN special rapporteur on minority issues said that as many as 40 people were allegedly killed in this operation, with 46 arrested as “militants.” The actual number of people arrested overall in connection to the May protests may be as high as 100.

As the central government dispersed the protests, it also cut internet and mobile connectivity in the autonomous region. Connectivity was previously cut in November and only partially restored in late March. This has denied thousands of residents in the region contact with their relatives and the rest of Tajikistan. Physical access in and out of Rushan village is also reportedly heavily restricted. Although Human Rights Watch has been able to contact people with knowledge of developments in the region, communication with the region is extremely difficult. Tajik authorities have also charged Mamadshoeva, under Article 307 of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan, with “publicly calling for violent change of the constitutional order with usage of the internet” but have not provided any evidence to substantiate the charges.

On May 24, the state TV channel broadcast a documentary in which Mamadshoeva and her former husband, Kholbash Kholbashov, a former officer in the Tajik border army, who is also in detention facing the same charges, appear to admit to organizing the protests in Khorog and Rushan, and apologize for causing distress to the residents. While their interviews were clearly recorded while they were in the hands of the authorities, the exact circumstances in which they were filmed is unclear.

The current unrest in the autonomous region is one of the worst since the end of the 1990-1997 civil war in Tajikistan, in which thousands of civilians were killed in what Human Rights Watch has previously described as “ethnic cleansing.” Residents of Gorno-Badakhshan identify themselves as “Pamiri” and are ethnically and culturally different from majority Tajiks.

The region, which already enjoyed autonomy in Soviet times, cemented a degree of formal local autonomy under a 1997 national peace agreement. However, tensions have frequently escalated over complaints of harassment and persecution of Pamiris by Tajik authorities, who accuse the region’s de facto leaders of criminal links.

UN Secretary General António Guterres expressed concern on May 20 over the escalating violence and casualties in the autonomous region, calling on all sides to exercise restraint. The delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan and the embassies of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Germany issued a joint statement on May 18 expressing concern over reported intimidation and prosecution of citizens and journalists, and urging the Tajik authorities to uphold respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in crisis situations. A Tajik human rights group in exile also called on Tajik civil society to demand justice for Mamadshoeva.

“Tajik authorities are responsible for the safety and security of all of its citizens without discrimination,” Sultanalieva said. “All allegations of excessive use of force and targeted harassment of residents should be investigated immediately, communications restored, and all arbitrary detentions and prosecutions halted.”

Source: Human Rights Watch

Recognition of veterans of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Khatlon region

At a meeting held in the assembly hall of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Khatlon region, veterans of law enforcement agencies of Khatlon region were awarded.

We will recall that an event dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Council of Veterans of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Khatlon was held today at the Interior Ministry’s office in Khatlon.

It was attended by the head of the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan in Khatlon, police colonel Nozimzoda Fayzullo Vatan, veterans and staff of the Department and its units.

A wreath was laid at the Memorial as a symbol of respect by the head of the department and veterans.

Then, the meeting began with the National Anthem of the Republic of Tajikistan in the conference hall of the Board.

Colonel Nozimzoda Fayzullo Vatan, head of the Khatlon police department; Valijon Said, chairman of the Khatlon police veterans’ council; Khatlon region.

Veterans of internal affairs bodies in Khatlon region, speaking about the fulfillment of their duties and other services, said that the attention and care of the Government and the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs urges veterans to stand side by side with their chosen profession. Contribute to the regulation of public relations, overcoming the problems of society, maintaining order and combating crime.

In another part, a documentary film on the history of the Khatlon police was shown, covering all areas of the Khatlon police.

Veterans of the field were awarded by the Management of the Board with letters of thanks and memorable gifts.

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

Getting free money by fraud

A 24-year-old resident of the capital, Firdavsi, filed a complaint with DMIA-2 in Firdavsi. Dushanbe will receive four apartments, in exchange for which he will receive a sum of $ 67,000, which he has not yet repaid.

An investigation is under way.

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan

A New TB Hospital Will Be Built in Kulob

Over €12.5 million has been allocated as part of the agreement between Tajikistan and Germany on financial cooperation, which was signed in 2020 to finance the new project “Programme to Combat Tuberculosis, Stage VI.”

It is assumed that 11 million somoni will be allocated for the construction of a new TB hospital in Kulob, and €1.5 million for the completion of construction and equipping the children’s tuberculosis hospital in Vahdat’s Machiton.

Also, an additional agreement was signed on the provision of a grant and the implementation of the project between the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, the German Development Bank, and the Pamir Energy company for €17.4 million, which will be allocated for the construction of the Sebzor hydroelectric power station in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region.

This agreement is based on the agreement between the governments of Tajikistan and Germany on financial cooperation for 2017-2019, which has already passed domestic procedures as an additional financing agreement.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan