Belarus: arrested Shabnam Khudoydodova of Tajikistan was not granted access to a lawyer

It has been ten day since the activist of Group 24 who is wanted by Interpol on behest of Tajikistan but she still does not have access to a lawyer in Investigations Detention Centre of the city of Brest.

Mijgona Khudoydodova, Shabnam’s sister reports that a lawyer has not been given access to speak to her. Shabnam Khudoydodova is isolated from information which is taking a tall on her moral.

Shabnam Hudoydodova
Shabnam Khayrulloevna KHUDOYDODOVA was born on 20 December 1986 in the city of Kulyab of the Tajikistan SSR. She has an underage daughter.

 In social networks, she actively supported the critical opinions of the political opposition of Tajikistan, she emphasised the need for democratic reforms in her home country. Whenever she could, Ms Hudoydodova participated in humanitarian rallies in support of Tajik migrant workers.

In recent years, Shabnam Hudoydodova lived in Russia. When she learned that her abduction in Russia was being prepared, Shabnam decided to leave the Russian Federation. On 15 June 2015, while crossing the Russian-Belorussian border control she was arrested in accordance with the request of Tajikistan because she is charged under Article 37 of the Criminal Code of Tajikistan (Criminal Liability of Accomplices).

Her lawyer is not given access to the Investigations Detention Centre to see Shabnam Khudoydodova because of lack of a permit from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belorussia. This practice was abolished over a year ago as unlawful. However, the present case illustrates the practice is still applicable to cases under the international request for extradition.

The UN Committee on Human Rights qualifies a complete isolation from the outside world, especially in the case of a threat to his health and life as torture of the person arrested. If Ms Hudoydodova is to be extradited to Tajikistan, she may face torture, prolonged detention and separation from her young daughter.

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) expresses its concern that:
— Shbnam Khudoydodova has no access to defence in Belorussia;
— she is cut off from the outside world, the conditions of her detention are damaging her health and comparable to torture;

In this regard, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia urges the international observers in the area of human rights to call on Byelorussia to fulfil its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

This report was sent to:
— UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;
— UN High Commissioner for Refugees;
— Participants of the 24th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, the founding document of the OSCE (Helsinki, 4-8 July 2015).

Our previous publications on this topic:
           — press release "Belarus: imprisoned Shabnam Khudoydodova from Tajikistan was allowed to meet with a lawyerdated  20 Juillette 2015;
— press release "Arrests of the Tajik activists. In Moscow, Maksud Ibragimov is missing" dated 26 January 2015;
— press release "Turkey: the leader of «Group 24» Umarali Kuvatov faces a threat of extradition" dated 13 January 2015;
— press release "Turkey: the leader of «Goup 24» Umarali Kuvatov is detained" dated 20 December 2014;
— press release " Russia: an attempt on the life of a member of the Tajik opposition Maksud Ibragimov" dated 1 December 2014.