Tajikistan: ICJ analysis and compilation of the UN Human Rights Committee Views concerning allegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment

Today, the ICJ published a compilation of cases (read the full document here) decided by the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) concerning allegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment (articles 7 and 10).

This compilation draws together the views of the HRC in all individual communications adjudicated on the merits in respect of Tajikistan, concerning Article 7 and Article 10 of the ICCPR from 1999 to 2019.

This compilation provides a resource for lawyers, judges, civil society and other stakeholders working to protect against torture and ill-treatment in Tajikistan. The cases in this volume demonstrate how the UN Human Rights Committee has applied the principles of its jurisprudence on torture and other ill-treatment to the particular legal and factual context of Tajikistan. These authoritative interpretations of the ICCPR by the Committee can help to inform consideration of these issues in the national courts, as well as in legislative reform and policy making.

In addition, by drawing together and analysing the facts of individual communications to the Committee from Tajikistan, this compilation also serves to identify underlying systemic issues which Tajik authorities and the national justice system fail to address. An introduction to the compilation highlight of the main issues which have been identified by the Committee in almost 20 years of its practice on Tajikistan. Several patterns regarding the actual functioning of the Tajik criminal justice system can be drawn from the Committee’s decisions. Together they represent an important evidentiary source to determine where the justice system fails in practice to protect human rights that are guaranteed by the ICCPR and often by Tajikistan law and procedure.

While the freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under Article 7 is the central point of this review, it logically includes some reference to other relevant Articles of the ICCPR, including Article 2(3) (the right to an effective remedy for violations of the Covenant rights) Article 6 (right to life), Article 10 (conditions of detention), Article 9 (the right to liberty) and Article 14 (fair trial rights). These rights are analysed only where they are pleaded by applicants in cases also involving allegations of violations of rights under Article 7 or 10 ICCPR.

This compilation of cases is published as part of ICJ’s Global Redress and Accountability Initiative, with a view to rendering accessible the cases of the Human Rights Committee related to torture and other ill-treatment to a wide range of different actors within and engaging with the justice system. It should be useful both for independent practitioners such as lawyers, human rights defenders and civil society organizations, and for the judiciary, but also the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Interior, under whose competence some of the issues may fall. The publication should be of equal interest to IGOs working in or with an interest in Tajikistan.