Target: Emomali Rakhmon, President of Tajikstan
Goal: Drop charges likely intended to prevent a lawyer from defending his clients.
A lawyer who is defending a Tajikistani political opposition group has been charged with fraud and forgery. Buzurgmekhr Yorov claims the charges are false and politically motivated, and there is evidence to suggest that he is correct.
Prior to his arrest, Yorov had been defending the Islamic Resistance Party of Tajikstan (IRPT), which until last year was a recognized political party. However, it was recently declared to be an extremist terrorist group–an arbitrary declaration, Amnesty International argues. Yorov’s original charges of fraud and forgery were unrelated to his professional association with the IRPT. However, upon his arrest, several confidential documents relating to the IRPT’s case were seized from his possession, constituting a breach of the privacy between lawyers and their clients.
Additionally, Yorov was later charged with extremism, an accusation that appears to relate directly to his work with the IRPT, despite a United Nations principle that declares that “lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.”
It is clear that Buzurgmekhr Yorov is a prisoner of conscience. He must therefore be released immediately and allowed to continue his job unfettered. Sign the petition and demand that Yorov–and all lawyers in Tajikstan–be allowed to do their work without risk of threats or harassment.
Dear President Rakhmon,
I am writing to urge the immediate release of Buzurgmekhr Yorov, a lawyer for the Islamic Resistance Party of Tajikstan (IRPT). The charges against him are likely politically motivated and violate international United Nations guidelines governing the treatment of lawyers. I implore you to end this injustice against Buzurgmekhr Yorov as quickly as possible, and I demand that he be protected from torture and ill-treatment for as long as he remains in custody.
Yorov was charged with fraud and forgery, two charges that ostensibly had nothing to do with his professional association with the IRPT. However, in the course of his arrest, several confidential documents relating to the IRPT were seized–a clear violation of international laws governing the privacy of lawyer and client interactions. Furthermore, Yorov was later charged with extremism, an accusation that has recently become associated with the IRPT as well.
If Yorov is to be accused of fraud, forgery, and extremism, authorities must provide immediate evidence to back up these claims–and, in accordance with United Nations regulations regarding the treatment of lawyers, Yorov’s defense of his clients’ case cannot be considered an endorsement of their beliefs. If this is not possible, the charges against him should be dropped and he should be released immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: diegoattorney