Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002 - Tajikistan

The Government of Tajikistan continued to cooperate fully with US antiterrorism efforts throughout 2002.

In March, the Government submitted its report on counterterrorism efforts to the UN Security Council Committee created under UNSCR 1373. Throughout the year, moreover, the government consistently supported antiterrorist efforts in the United Nations and the OSCE. It was also a signatory to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's June statement and its antiterrorism clauses.

Tajikistan continues to be extremely supportive of and cooperative in the global effort to end terrorism. During 2002, Dushanbe became a party to two international antiterrorist conventions – the 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages (6 May 2002) and the 1997 Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (29 July 2002). The Government of Tajikistan is now party to eight of the 12 international conventions and protocols against terrorism. Dushanbe has indicated its willingness to become a party to the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives. (It should be noted that Tajikistan is a landlocked country, and the remaining two conventions relate to maritime navigation and offshore platforms.)

Tajikistan conducted several significant antiterrorist operations during 2002, including the arrests of a number of suspected terrorists. Additionally, in October and November, Government security forces conducted a large counterterrorist operation in the central portion of the country. The Government had announced in November 2001 its agreement to the basing of US and Coalition troops and aircraft in Tajikistan, and throughout 2002, US and Coalition aircraft were permitted to carry out refueling operations at Dushanbe International Airport. The Ministry of Defense detailed four liaison officers to US Central Command Headquarters in connection with Operation Enduring Freedom.

Tajikistani security authorities, moreover, have stepped up border security and pledged to prevent escape attempts into Tajikistan by Taliban and al-Qaida members. The Government has been open to participating in US Government-supplied antiterrorism training and assistance. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance have also cooperated with Washington's attempts to trace and freeze terrorist assets and have worked to tighten their financial controls.

Throughout 2002, Dushanbe continued its investigations into a number of incidents of domestic and international terrorism that had occurred in Tajikistan in 2001. In August, the Government announced the formation of a special investigation and prosecution unit to look into the assassinations of a number of high-ranking officials in 2001 and previous years. The effort included the killings of the First Deputy Minister of the Interior, the State Advisor to the President on International Affairs, and the Minister of Culture – as well as the Independence Day suicide bombing (which injured one other person) in September 2001 and the murder of two members of the Baha'i faith in Dushanbe in late 2001. According to public statements by the Deputy State Procurator-General (head of the special unit), arrests were made in several of the cases. The investigations continued. Convictions were obtained in some of the cases, including the murders of the First Deputy Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Culture; in both cases, those convicted received the death penalty.

On 3 November 2002, the Government announced the extradition of 12 members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the United States has designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization and also has designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224, to Uzbekistan for prosecution. The Tajikistani Ministry of Security captured the suspects during a security sweep, according to a public statement. While the United States currently does not have an extradition treaty with Tajikistan, Dushanbe has officially declared that multilateral instruments such as international conventions against terrorism or the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, when it enters into force internationally, could form a basis for extradition under Tajikistani law. In particular, the Government announced in September that those arrested in the investigation of the murders of two adherents of the Baha'i faith were found to have links to Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

There were no prosecutions during the year of cases relating directly to terrorism, although several participants in the 1998 coup attempt led by Col. Mahmud Khudoberdiev were convicted on charges that included terrorism. The charges stemmed from their association with Khudoberdiev rather than from involvement in terrorist acts.


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.