Online Petition to Stop Torture in Tajikistan

An increasing number of social media users in Tajikistan are calling on their friends and followers to sign an online petition [ru] to pressure the country's authorities to stop the use of torture. The petition was started following the death of an opposition party activist, 34-year old Umed Tojiev, in a Tajik prison on January 20. Tojiev was tortured while in prison, and this appears to explain his death (although the authorities insist he died of a heart attack).

User ‘Umniy Biznes’ wrote [ru] on a publicly available page on Facebook:

Umedjon Tojiev has been killed by individuals wearing epaulets, the individuals who are paid salaries from our taxes, the individuals who are supposed to protect us. Who are they, our guards or butchers??? Whoever they are, they live at our expense! And a beast that bites the hand feeding him will sooner or later die of hunger…

Torture in police custody is widespread and systematic in Tajikistan, according to a recent UN report [pdf]. The petition has so far been signed by 200 people. 

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