Human rights lawyer arrested
On 4 November 2015, Lawyers for Lawyers sent letters to the authorities of Tajikistan to raise concerns about the arrest and detention of lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov. We have reason to believe that his arrest is connected to his legitimate activities as attorney.
Atty. Yorov was arrested and detained on 28 September 2015. The authorities charged him with fraud related charges. An Internal Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the alleged fraud occurred in July 2010, when Yorov had purportedly received US$4,000 from a resident of the city of Istaravshan.
At the time of his arrest, Atty. Yorov had just started to represent thirteen senior leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). They were arrested by the authorities on various charges on 16 September 2015. The IRPT had been the only Islamic political party legally registered in Central Asia before the Supreme Court of Tajikistan in September 2015, banned the party and later declared a terrorist organization..
Lawyers for Lawyers fears that Atty. Yorov’s arrest may be related to his legal representation and defence of the thirteen leaders of the IRPT.
This case is not an isolated one; Yorov is at least the third Tajik lawyer that has been arrested, imprisoned on politically motivated charges, or subjected to serious harassment in the last two years. In the UPR submission that Lawyers for Lawyers submitted in September 2015, Lawyers for Lawyers raised concerns about the deteriorating situation of lawyers in Tajikistan.
Lawyers for Lawyers called on the authorities to immediately release Buzurgmehr Yorov or present credible and internationally recognizable charges against him.
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