28. September 2023
Eight months after deportation from Dortmund
Joint report from Freeedom for Eurasia and the Abschiebungsreporting NRW
On the occasion of the visit of the five Central Asian presidents, including Tajik President Rahmon, to Berlin this Friday, the Abschiebungsreporting NRW and the Viennese human rights organization “Freedom for Eurasia” draw attention to the ongoing politically motivated detention of Abdullohi Shamsiddin, who was deported from Dortmund to Tajikistan in January 2023, and demand his release. After the man initially disappeared after deportation, he was sentenced to seven years in prison by a court in Dushanbe in March 2023 for liking an opposition social media post. This was evaluated in Tajikistan as “extremism.” Abdullohi Shamsiddin’s closest relatives, parents, wife and two small children live with refugee statuses in the European Union. The father of Abdullohi Shamsiddin, a leading member of the IRPT party, which is banned in Tajikistan, was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison.
“Steinmeier and Scholz receive Tajik President Rahmon in Berlin with all honours, while he imprisons political opponents in his country and has them tortured,” said Leila Nazgül Seiitbek of Freedom for Eurasia. “Human rights must be clearly addressed at these meetings. Adullohi Shamsiddin must be released immediately and allowed to return to his family in Europe.”
Abdullohi Shamsiddin’s health is a cause for concern. As his Dortmund circle of friends reports, he was recently transferred to a hospital. He also suffers from asthma. The detention in Tajikistan has now lasted for more than eight months. Nothing is known about the exact conditions of detention. Central Asia experts called on the German authorities not to deport Abdullohi Shamsidin due to the high risk of arrest and torture after deportation.
Sebastian Rose, Abschiebungsreporting NRW, Committee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy e.V.:
“The deportation of Abdullohi Shamsiddin has become a low point in North Rhine-Westphalia’s deportation policy. The politically staged high deportation pressure contributes to such catastrophic mistakes. Such deportations must be prevented from happening again.”
Other activists from Tajikistan could also face deportation, including in North Rhine-Westphalia. Just last week, Amnesty International issued a detailed statement denouncing human rights violations in Tajikistan against members of the Pamiri minority in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO). Pamirian activists and journalists are being subjected to arbitrary arrests and torture. In view of the extent of the human rights violations, Amnesty International argued that German authorities should not deport Pamiris to Tajikistan.
The human rights organization “Freedom for Eurasia”, together with other international human rights organizations, recently called for the release of Nizomiddin Nasriddinov, a political activist who received refugee protection in Germany in 2017. He was arrested by the authorities in Belarus a few months ago during a trip to Belarus and was eventually extradited to Tajikistan, where he faces politically motivated charges and is also in custody.
Freedom for Eurasia
Leila Nazgül Seiitbek
E-Mail: freedomeurasia (at) protonmail.com
The Central Immigration Office in Essen hosted Tajik delegations in June 2022 and March 2023 to jointly prepare further deportations to Tajikistan, identify people and prepare the issuance of replacement passport papers. At the first collective hearing, 34 people were summoned (see B u n d e s t a g s – D r u c k s a c h e 20/6291 ).
The “Deportation Reporting NRW” project began its work in August 2021. It makes particularly inhumane aspects of the deportation practice in North Rhine-Westphalia public in individual cases and takes the particular hardships of deportations into account. More information can be found here . The project is sponsored by the Committee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy, based in Cologne.
Freedom for Eurasia is a Vienna-based human rights organization committed to exposing corruption, kleptocracy and human rights abuses in the former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. More information can be found here