Prisoner Release: General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan

Statute of the Commission on National Reconciliation (23 December 1996)

III. Functions and Powers of the Commission:

7. The Commission shall have the following functions and powers:

During the transition period, the President and Commission on National Reconciliation will exercise the following functions and powers: Monitoring of the conduct of a full exchange of prisoners of war and other prisoners and the release of forcibly detained persons;

Protocol of Mutual Understanding between the President of Tajikistan, E. S. Rakhmonov and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition, S. A. Nuri: (2) In implementation of the provisions of the Bishkek Memorandum of 18 May 1997 (S/1997/385, annex II) regarding solution of the problems of exchanging prisoners of war and imprisoned persons as an act of goodwill, to exchange by 15 July 1997 50 prisoners of war and 50 imprisoned persons, including all those detained since February 1997;

Implementation History

1997

Intermediate Implementation

Prisoner swaps began in 1997 and continued at an incremental pace.1 The UTO released two groups of government prisoners, 119 in total on 17 September and 19 October in Tavildara. In turn, the government agreed to release 161 detainees. Roughly half (78) were set free on 20 October with help from UNMOT.2

  • 1. "Tajik Sides Swap Prisoners of War,” The Moscow Times, July 19, 1997.
  • 2. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations (S/1998/374), May 6, 1998.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

On 29 March, UTO forces released 16 government soldiers. On 30 March the UTO released another 73 government soldiers.3 

  • 3. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations (S/1997/859), November 5, 1997.
1999

Full Implementation

A June 17 Protocol signed by Rakhmonov and Nuri called for the release of 47 UTO supporters who were imprisoned. Rakhmonov granted 40 of the prisoners amnesty, but they were not released. Of the other seven, it was reported that two were killed in prison, two died of illness in prison and three were denied amnesty.4 The UTO submitted an additional list of war prisoners being held in government prisons. According to the U.S. State Department Human Rights Practice Report, by November of 1999, the government had released all UTO prisoners on the list. The government accepted the UTO’s claim that it had released all war prisoners.5 

  • 4. "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Tajikistan," United Nations (S/1999/1127), November 4, 1999.
  • 5. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices- 2000- Tajikistan," U.S. State Department, 2001, accessed August 6, 2012.
2000

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2001

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.