Tajikistan: Independent report demands truth about Khorog operation

The state does not respect the right to the truth, says a report that summarises the monitoring of observance of human rights in connection with events in Khorog, Tajikistan, in 2012.

The report presents facts and analysis of the special operation conducted by government authorities in the city of Khorog in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of Tajikistan in July 2012 and its consequences from the perspective of international human rights standards and the national legislation of Tajikistan.

According to the report, the special armed operation “involved serious violations of the right to life” as well as other human rights. Governmental bodies did not conduct an effective investigation of deaths and injuries during and after the special operation.

The report was prepared by civil society organisations as a part of the activities of the Working Group on Crisis Situation of the Civic Solidarity Platform.

On 24 July 2012 law enforcement forces of the Republic of Tajikistan, with the support of the Defence Ministry of Tajikistan, launched a simultaneous assault in a few micro-districts of Khorog, which were the places of residence of former Tajik civil war field commanders. In response, the informal leaders and their supporters put up armed resistance that resulted in more than 16 hours of exchange of fire. According to some data, during the special operation 22 locals and up to 23 members of the security forces were killed. There is no reliable information about the number of wounded among the local population.

Lack of access to reliable information was conducive to the emergence of rumours and unjustified fears, including regarding the number of casualties among the local population and the security forces, which ranged, depending on the source, from 18 to 200 people.

For full text of the report, including conclusions and recommendation of the monitoring mission, see the attachment below.

Photo by Lene Wetteland, Norwegian Helsinki Committee