Manuchehr Kholiknazarov is the Director of the Lawyers Association of Pamir (LAP), one of the few civil society organisations in Tajikistan’s Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) that works to promote and protect human rights. He has helped countless victims of human rights violations and strengthened rule of law and democratic structures in the GBAO. Furthermore, Kholiknazarov and his organisation had been working for many years to create a platform for dialogue between state bodies and civil society institutions, where the most pressing problems of the region, including in the field of human rights were discussed.
In November 2021, mass protests erupted in Khorog, GBAO, over the extrajudicial killing of a young man, Gulbiddin Ziyobekov. After the protests settled, Kholiknazarov joined the “Commission 44”, consisting of representatives of local civil society and law enforcement agencies, to investigate the events. On 28 May 2022, Kholiknazarov was arrested along with a dozen members of Commission 44 for alleged “participation in a criminal association” and “publicly calling for violent change of the constitutional order”. Despite all appeals to the government of Tajikistan, on 9 December 2022 the Supreme Court of Tajikistan sentenced Manuchehr Kholiknazarov to 16 years in prison.
We have called for his immediate release. Now we ask you to support Manuchehr by sending him a postcard, and by writing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tajikistan.