Wednesday, May 09, 2012 -
A Tajik opposition leader urged President Emomali Rahmon on Tuesday to pardon all detainees remaining in jail for their anti-government activities during the country’s civil war in the 1990s.
In his letter, chairman of the Islamic Renaissance party of Tajikistan and parliamentary lawmaker Muhiddin Kabiri asked the country’s leader to grant amnesty to former United Tajik Opposition (UTO) militants who are still serving time in jail.
“Many of participants of civil confrontation served long sentences in jail and have become very old and their health condition leaves much to be desired,” the AsiaPlus news agency cited Kabiri as saying.
Noting that the warring parties put down their weapons and successfully negotiated a truce 15 years ago, the letter called on Rahmon to show humanity and mercy on the eve of the anniversary.
"This year we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the signing of the peace and harmony, which opened a new page in our history, and has become a unique example of peace in human history," Kabiri wrote, the Avesta.tj news agency reported.
Hundreds of inmates have been excluded from earlier amnesties, most of them having served more than half their prison terms, he wrote.
“The others are weak and sick people, who do not pose a threat to society,” he said.
"Relatives and friends of these people impose on you much hope and believe in your favor. We hope that you will accept our offer," said the letter addressed the country's president.
Tajikistan plunged into civil war in May 1992, only months after the country declared independence from the disintegrating Soviet Union.
The five-year civil war between the Islamist-led opposition and the Moscow-backed government ended on June 27, 1997 with a UN-brokered peace agreement. Around 50,000 people were killed in the violence.