AKIPRESS.COM - Tajikistan has been downgraded from ‘repressed’ to ‘closed’ in a new report by the CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration that rates and tracks fundamental freedoms in 197 countries and territories. According to the report, People Power Under Attack 2022, repressive measures taken by the authorities in response to mass protests in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) led to the downgrade.
‘Closed’ is the worst rating a country can receive by the CIVICUS Monitor. In reality, it means that an atmosphere of fear prevails in Tajikistan, where people are routinely imprisoned and attacked for exercising their fundamental rights of freedom of association, free assembly and expression. Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria are also rated closed.
Mass protests took place in GBAO in May 2022 when people took to the streets in the city of Khorog to demand the resignation of the regional leader as well as justice for a young man killed during a police operation. These protests followed earlier mass protests held in the region on similar issues in November 2021. In both cases, authorities cracked down on protests and carried out special security operations in the region marred by allegations of excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings of detainees. In addition, they imposed weeks-long internet shutdowns throughout the region. To date, authorities have failed to carry out impartial investigations into human rights violations reported in the region.