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We welcome the Tajik government’s willingness to engage in the UPR process and its attention to sexual rights. We commend Tajik government’s attention to the issue of gender recognition for transgender people. We hope that the government will continue this positive engagement by simplifying the procedure of changing documents and not requiring surgeries.
In the context of concerns raised in the Outcome Report, we draw your attention to the continued detention and prosecution of gay and bisexual men, despite the decriminalization of same-sex conduct. There are reports of men who are verbally, physically and sometimes sexually abused whilst in detention, and not released until they agree to pay a bribe. Their personal belongings are confiscated and address books in mobile phones are used to track other gay and bisexual men. In the past year, 13 cases of such cases of police blackmail and extortion have been reported. Lesbian women in Tajikistan continue to be forced into arranged marriages and controlled by their families through beating and psychological pressure.
We urge the Tajik Government to:
- Take all necessary legislative measures to impose appropriate criminal penalties for violence, threats of violence, incitement to violence and related harassment, based on the sexual orientation or gender identity, in all spheres of life, including the family and the state agencies;
- Ensure that perpetration of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including if perpetrated by law enforcement personnel, is vigorously investigated, and that, those responsible are prosecuted, tried and duly punished, and that victims are provided with appropriate remedies and redress, including compensation
Finally, we would like to express a concern with recent ban on use of social media in Tajikistan and encourage the government of Tajikistan to create space for open communication whether online or through other forms of media.