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Promoting the OPCAT in Tajikistan


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The APT continued its activities to promote the OPCAT as an important torture prevention instrument in Tajikistan on 23 November, when it participated in an event in Dushanbe, entitled 'International and National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture'. Among the various issues for discussion were the possible ratification and implementation of the OPCAT by Tajikistan as well as the country’s relationship with the UN Committee against Torture and the related reporting procedure.

Date: 23 November 2010
Place: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Purpose: To promote the OPCAT in Tajikistan
Partners: Representative Office of OHCHR in Central Asia
Ombudsperson’s Office Tajikistan
Department for Constitutional Guarantees
Activities: The APT continued its activities to promote the OPCAT as an important torture prevention instrument in Tajikistan when it participated in a one day event in the capital Dushanbe on 23 November 2010. The event, which was titled ‘International and National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Torture’, was co-sponsored by the Representative Office of OHCHR in Central Asia, Tajik Ombudsperson’s Office and the Department for Constitutional Guarantees and drew together a range of government and non-government representatives from in and around Dushanbe, including from the prison service, police, intelligence service, anti-corruption agency, procuracy, judiciary, bar associations and academia.

The APT’s participation in the exchange was made possible through the kind financial support of the Open Society Institute, which also funded a similar event in May 2009. An APT staff member gave a key address at the 23 November event on how the OPCAT is being implemented at the national level globally and related challenges.
Outcome: Among the various issues on the table for discussion were the possible ratification and implementation of the OPCAT by Tajikistan as well as the country’s relationship with the UN Committee against Torture and the related reporting procedure. The latter topic is especially relevant as Tajikistan is in the process of preparing for its second periodic examination by the UN Committee. The emergence of the Ombudsperson’s Office as a potential actor to prevent acts of abuse was also the subject of discussion at the event.

It is hoped that, as a result of this and other similar events which have taken place throughout the country in recent months, that there will be a greater awareness of the international framework aimed at countering acts of abuse. In particular it is hoped that the Tajik authorities will give serious consideration to ratifying the OPCAT.  

During the visit to the country the APT also met various representatives engaged in torture prevention with a view to planning future activities.
Documents: Agenda - Russian
BBC, 23 November 2010, Torture prevention in Tajikistan - Russian
Contact Persons: Matthew Pringle, APT Europe & Central Asia Programme Officer
Adam Fletcher, APT Legal Adviser
Photos courtesy of OHCHR Central Asia
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