Article 5 of the 1994 Constitution of Tajikistan (as amended) provides as follows:
Life, honor, dignity, and other natural human rights are inviolable. The rights and liberties of the person and citizen are recognized, observed, and protected by the state.
Article 18 guarantees that every person "has the right to life. ... The inviolability of the individual is guaranteed by the government. No one may be subjected to torture or cruel and inhuman treatment."
Article 29 governs the right of peaceful assembly:
Each citizen has the right to participate in lawfully established meetings, protests, demonstrations, and peaceful marches. No one may be forced to participate in these activities.
The Constitution does not address national law enforcement agencies.
|1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)||State Party|
|ICCPR Optional Protocol 1||State Party|
|1984 Convention against Torture (CAT)||State Party|
|Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints||No|
|CAT Optional Protocol 1||Not party|
|1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court||State Party|
There is no regional human rights treaty to which Central Asian nations can become party.
Police Use of Force
Law enforcement in Tajikistan is carried out by national police under the Ministry of the Interior.
Article 4 of the draft Law on Police prohibits the use by police officers of "torture, violence and other ill treatment or degrading the honor and dignity of the individual". Police officers "shall not perform any act inflicting deliberate physical and mental harm to a citizen." Under Article 14(5):
In all cases where it is impossible to avoid the use of physical force, special means and firearms, a police officer shall strive, if possible, to cause the least moral material and physical harm.
Article 16 governs the use of firearms. According to paragraph 1:
Policeman as a last resort has the right to apply firearms in the following cases:
- to protect citizens from attack, as well as for the release of the hostages;
- to repulse collective or armed attacks on policemen, other persons performing duties or social duty to maintain public order;
- to repulse collective or armed attacks on citizens' homes, important and protected objects, premises of the Government and public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations irrespective of form of ownership, to repel attacks on the police dispatch center of Internal Affairs Agencies;
- for the detention of persons showing armed resistance or caught when committing a grave or particularly grave crime or a criminal offender who is committing or has committed an escape from custody, as well as an armed person who refuses to comply with a legal requirement to surrender firearms;
- to suppress the attempt to seize firearms, police vehicles, and special military equipment available to/in police service;
- against persons whose proactive universal convocation are mobilized/aimed to attack citizens and police guarding public order, as well as important and protected infrastructure, buildings of government and public bodies, enterprises, institutions and organizations, regardless of ownership;
- to repulse the attacks of people aimed at usage of equipment or highly flammable or loose means, and this could create a threat to the peace and security of citizens, society and the State.
This is more permissive than international law allows. Among other issues, police use of firearms purely to protect property is not lawful.
There is no civilian independent police oversight body in Tajikistan.
Under Article 28 of Tajikistan's Counterterrorism Law, police officers "participating in the fight against terrorism shall not incur liability for moral, material and bodily damage caused to terrorists as a result of legal use of physical force, special means and firearms".
Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies
In its 2018 Concluding Observations on Tajikistan, the Committee against Torture expressed its concern "at allegations that torture and ill-treatment continue to be routinely practised by law enforcement officials".
There is no regional human rights court with jurisdiction over police use of force in Tajikistan.