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Tajikistan: Terrorism Law Amendments Approved in Lower House of Parliament

(June 25, 2012) On June 20, 2012, the lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of Tajikistan's parliament (Majlisi Oli) approved amendments to the country's law on fighting terrorism. The changes had been proposed by President Emomali Rahmon. (Avaz Yuldoshev, Parliament Endorses Amendments Proposed to the Counter-Terrorism Law, ASIA-PLUS ONLINE (June 20, 2012); Majlisi Oli website (last visited June 25, 2012); Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on Combating Terrorism, 1999, LEGISLATIONLINE.)

According to the country's Prosecutor-General, Sherkhon Salimzoda, under the revised provisions of the law, the Tajik State Committee on National Security will compile a list of people suspected of terrorism. The Committee may freeze bank accounts and seize property, both real and personal, belonging to those on the list. The Supreme Court will make any decisions to ban an organization as terrorist. (Yuldoshev, supra.)

The leader of the Communist Party of Tajikistan, Shodi Shabdolov, when discussing the amendments, stated his view that there is no set, international definition of the term “terrorism.” While acknowledging the past and present existence of terrorists in Tajikistan, he added

I am indignant that today a group of states who call themselves superpowers may declare a whole country terrorist only because it protects its own national interests. So it was in Egypt, Libya and Iraq. In this context, I will ask the Tajik government to be extremely careful about these issues so that our country is not used in this dirty game. (Id.)

Expressing a different perspective, Muhiddin Kabiri, of the Islamic Revival Party, supported the government's proposal, and said that “[u]nder Tajikistan's legislation, neither [the] leader of the [Egyptian] Muslim Brotherhood nor [the] leader of the Islamic Revival of Tunisia, who won presidential elections in their countries, can visit Tajikistan because these organizations are banned in our country … as terrorist.” (Id.)

At present 14 organizations have been banned as terrorist by the Tajik authorities. (Id.)