Safeguards against torture enshrined in domestic law were not always adhered to. Freedom of expression remained restricted. The authorities failed to effectively prevent and prosecute violence against women and to protect survivors.
Police and security forces continued to use torture and other ill-treatment with almost total impunity, despite changes to the law in 2010. The European Court of Human Rights issued emergency measures to prevent the extradition of a man to Tajikistan, due to the prevalence of torture in the country. At the end of the year the government announced its intention to amend the Criminal Code with a definition of torture, in line with international law.
Tajikistani and international human rights groups reported that independent media outlets and journalists continued to face criminal and civil law suits for criticizing the government or government officials.
Violence against women remained a serious problem. A major factor contributing to the high rate of domestic violence was the failure of the state to take adequate measures to prevent illegal, early marriages. On 1 January, the minimum marriageable age was raised from 17 to 18 years by presidential decree. However, services to protect the survivors of domestic violence, such as shelters and adequate and safe alternative housing, remained insufficient. A draft law, “Social and Legal Protection against Domestic Violence” – which had been in preparation for several years – was presented to parliament in the autumn. It had not been discussed or voted on by the end of the year.Top of page