EU-Tajikistan Human Rights Dialogue (18/06/2014)

Dushanbe, 18 June 2014 - The European Union and Tajikistan held the sixth round of their Human Rights Dialogue in Dushanbe yesterday. Discussions were open and constructive, with exchanges on a range of human rights issues, and on the continuing cooperation between the EU and Tajikistan in the area of human rights and the rule of law. The Tajikistan delegation was led by Mr Muzaffar Ashuriyon, Head of Department of Human Rights Guarantees, President's Executive Office, and the EU delegation to the meeting was led by Riccardo Serri, Deputy Head of the Human Rights Strategy and Policy Implementation Division in the European External Action Service.

The dialogue allowed for an exchange of views on the human rights situation in both Tajikistan and in the EU. A broad range of issues were addressed, including elections, the prevention of torture, freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, women's rights, child rights and the rights of refugees. The EU welcomed some positive steps that have been taken by Tajikistan since the last Human Rights Dialogue meeting in March 2013, including the establishment of an advisory council to the Human Rights Commissioner, the creation of a detention monitoring group that includes representatives of NGOs and the Ombudsman's Office, and the ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW Convention.

The EU recalled the importance of implementing legislation and of strengthening the role of human rights institutions. The EU focused in particular on shortcomings in the 2013 Presidential elections in line with OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, as well as on reports on alleged mistreatment of detainees, despite positive developments on legislation against torture. The EU expressed concerns regarding developments in press freedom, including the blocking of websites. 

In keeping with the practice of fully incorporating the views of civil society in human rights dialogues, the parties discussed the detailed recommendations that were adopted at the Civil Society Seminar that was held in Dushanbe in September 2013, which focussed on cooperation between NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions.
 
The next round of the EU-Tajikistan Human Rights Dialogue should be held in Brussels or Dushanbe in 2015.

For more details, please, contact EU Delegation to Tajikistan at DELEGATION-TAJIKISTAN-PIC@eeas.europa.eu.