The United Kingdom regrets the further loss of life in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan within the past week.
We continue to monitor closely developments in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, and remain concerned by reports of arrests of, and attacks on, journalists. We echo the 18 May statement by the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media, which called for an end to such harassment and the enabling of an environment where media workers can report freely on issues of importance to society as a whole.
We join others in urging the Government of Tajikistan to fulfil its human rights obligations. The reported intimidation and prosecution of citizens and journalists undermines the prospects for a swift de-escalation and return to normal order, as does the denial of internet access in the region, which we call upon the Tajik authorities to restore immediately.
In the spirit of peace building, the UK would welcome a thorough and transparent investigation into recent events in Gorno-Badakhshan, with the findings communicated to the international community.
We ask that all parties work quickly and tirelessly to find a path to de-escalation, and that OSCE commitments are upheld throughout.
Thank you, Chair.