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29.11.201308:14
Источник изображения: ИА "Авеста"

Выпуск-17

id: 50876

date: 1/27/2006 10:34

refid: 06DUSHANBE179

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: SECRET

destination: 05DUSHANBE2012

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----------------- header ends ----------------

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000179

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R, P, EUR. SA, PA, IPP, DRL

NSC FOR MERKEL

E.O. 12958: DECL:  1/27/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PINR, PROP, KDEM, KPAO, RS, TI

SUBJECT: COUNTERING NEO-SOVIET ANTI-U.S. AND ANTI-DEMOCRACY

PROPAGANDA IN THE CIS, ESPECIALLY CENTRAL ASIA

REF: 05 DUSHANBE 2012

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard E. Hoagland, Ambassador, EXEC, Embassy

Dushanbe.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (c), (d)

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY INITIATIVE

1.  (U) Especially when analyzing the so-called "color

revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, neo-Soviet

authoritarians have dominated the information space and defined

the world view in Central Asia.  U.S. Embassies' Public Affairs

Sections face an up-hill battle because Russian media dominate

the CIS countries.  In Tajikistan, press circulation is

extremely small, and most newspapers rely on Russian news

services or reprint directly from Russian sources.  The vast

majority of the population relies on television and radio for

news and information, and what they see and hear are Russian

channels or else their own state-controlled broadcasts.

Internet usage is growing, but it is not universally available.

2.  (U) The nearly universal message from Russia is that the

United States seeks to export democracy through a

destabilization campaign and impose it on CIS countries that are

not ready for it (REFTEL).  President Putin's most recent

assertions linking "Western spies" and civil-society NGOs have

only exacerbated this problem.  In this warped world view, the

goal of U.S. NGOs is to overthrow legal governments that are

friendly to Moscow to pull them into Washington's orbit in order

to surround and weaken Russia.

3.  (U) To counter this disinformation, and to support the

Secretary's vision of transformational diplomacy, we need an

SIPDIS

intensive and on-going public diplomacy campaign that could

include the following elements.

-- Op-Eds by Secretary Rice, National Security Adviser Hadley,

members of Congress, and other eminent people, fully translated

for press and Internet placement, spaced monthly for the next

year or more.

-- Digital Video Conferences between senior U.S. officials and

journalists in CIS countries.  Translated transcripts for

placement and Internet posting.

-- Digital Video Conferences between leaders of major U.S. NGOs

and journalists in CIS countries.   Translated texts for

placement and Internet posting.

-- Leaders and eminent board members of major U.S. NGOs visit

key CIS countries, call on most senior leaders, meet with other

officials and civil society.  Conduct press conferences and

media roundtables.  Press releases and transcripts in

translation for all events.

-- Regular fact sheets about U.S. NGOs, civil society, and

political reform.

-- Q&A fact sheets debunking managed democracy and about the

role of NGOs - hard questions and clear answers.  (See suggested

hard questions in para five below.)

-- Draw in UK, Germany, and other Europeans to get them, too, on

the offensive to do all of the above.

-- Monthly U.S. Embassy newspaper (as Embassy Tashkent has

proposed) that could be centrally produced (economy of scale)

for distribution throughout Central Asia, or even all CIS.  A

hard-copy product is essential.

-- New State website for U.S. NGOs.  Would include U.S. policy

statements, short and pertinent summary of each NGO's mission

statement, list of each NGO's programs in individual Central

Asian countries and what they have accomplished.  No jargon -

real stories, not the bureaucracy talking to itself.  Links to

each NGO's website.

-- Print-product summary (brochure or booklet) of NGO website

for broad distribution in Russian and other appropriate

languages.

-- Make countering Russian anti-democracy propaganda a Public

Affairs Rapid Reaction and press-briefing priority.

OTHER EFFORTS

DUSHANBE 00000179  002 OF 002

4.  (S) While overt public diplomacy can play a useful role, it

would be worth considering whether other complementary efforts

should be authorized.  These could include the following.

-- Aggressive media campaign through the Russian media, like

www.gazeta.ru , Radio Echo Moskvy,

Interfax, and others, as well as placement of articles in the

major Russian newspapers read in Central Asia.

-- Attempt to gain a presence on Russian electronic media,

especially television.

-- In Central Asia, ensure that editors see the positive

material from the Russian media, and pay them, if necessary, to

reprint it.

-- Counter-press campaign - who is against U.S./Western NGOs and

why.  Name names and what they gain.  Counter the old-guard

ideology.

-- Write and place positive articles on "Historic Mother Russia

in the Western Tradition," the Russia of Peter the Great.

SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR A HARD-QUESTION FACT SHEET ON U.S. NGOs

5.  (U) The following frequently heard questions could be

answered for a hard-question fact sheet on U.S. NGOs.

-- What is a U.S. NGO?

-- Why do you call them NGOs even though they exist on U.S.

Government money and implement your foreign policy?

-- You say Tajikistan gets about $50 million a year in U.S.

foreign assistance, but we don't see that money.  Don't the NGOs

waste most of it with their fancy cars, big houses, and American

lifestyles?

-- We've seen articles, even in the Western press, that U.S.

democracy NGOs caused the "color revolutions" in Georgia,

Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.  Haven't you sent them here to "export

democracy" and overthrow the existing government?

-- Russian authorities say that U.S. democracy NGOs are really

working for the CIA; besides plotting to overthrow governments,

they are also full of spies gathering sensitive information.

How do you respond to that?

-- To preserve stability, don't we have the right to decide

which of your NGOs to register, to ensure they are working

according to their charters, and to monitor them closely?

-- Isn't the "democracy" you're exporting against our culture

and traditions?

-- We're a young country.  We're not ready for democracy.

Democracy leads to instability.  Look at what's happened where

there have been "color revolutions."  They're worse off now than

they were before.

-- We need economic development, not social experiments.  We

want you to invest in our infrastructure and in business joint

ventures.  Wouldn't that be a better use of your taxpayers'

money, and wouldn't that help us more?

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51059

date: 1/30/2006 11:36

refid: 06DUSHANBE195

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000195

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR CA/FPP; DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC; POSTS FOR FRAUD

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KFRD, CVIS, CPAS, CMGT, ASEC, TI

SUBJECT: FRAUD SUMMARY - TAJIKISTAN

REF: STATE 205073

DUSHANBE 00000195  001.2 OF 002

1.  (SBU) COUNTRY CONDITIONS:  Tajikistan, independent since the

Soviet breakup in 1991, is the poorest Central Asian republic

and the ninth poorest country per capita in the world.  The vast

majority of the population lives well below the poverty line,

inducing many working-age Tajik males to become migrant workers

in Russia rather than face rampant unemployment and

underemployment in Tajikistan.  Though some Tajiks legally work

abroad and remit their earnings back to Tajikistan, trafficking

in narcotics and persons, as well as a large black and gray

economy, increase the use of fraudulent documents.  Fraudulent

document venders are prevalent and target the migrant labor

population, as well as the local small-time trading community.

2.  (SBU) Though anti-corruption laws exist in theory,

enforcement and implementation remain elusive.  Corrupt

government officials continue to thwart attempts to tighten the

issuance and regulation of national identity documents.

Instances of fraudulently issued domestic and international

passports are highly suspected, though Tajik officials will not

address this issue directly with Embassy officials.  [NOTE:

Tajikistan continues to use domestic passports for travel and

registration for Tajik nationals within the country, and a

separately issued international passport for travel outside of

Tajikistan.  Approximately 15% of the population has an

international passport and large bribes are expected to receive

a new one.]  The defunct skeleton of the former Soviet

record-keeping system and the lack of integrated or organized

local and national archives make investigation and verification

of Tajik-issued documents difficult at best, irrelevant at

worst.  Across the board, documents from bank and real estate

statements to birth and marriage certificates can easily be

obtained fraudulently for any purpose.

3.  (SBU) Embassy Dushanbe will not issue non-immigrant visas in

Tajikistan until the completion of its New Embassy Compound in

Summer 2006.  Tajik nationals currently travel to Almaty,

Kazakhstan, to interview for non-immigrant and immigrant visas.

4.  (SBU) NIV FRAUD:  Lack of trust in Tajik documents makes it

very difficult to assess local social and economic ties.

Tajikistan remains a very traditional society:  Tajiks do not

typically put money in banks and letters of employment (even

government positions) are often created and issued within family

and clan structures.  Tajiks will change passports and names to

conceal previous visa refusals thanks to Tajik officials who

exhibit a cavalier disregard for the sanctity of national

identity documents.  Recently, a group of Russian sportsmen were

issued Tajik international passports listing their nationality

and place of birth as Tajikistan for the purposes of

representing Tajikistan in an international competition.

5.  (SBU) IV FRAUD:  Post accepts and processes a limited number

of I-130 petitions (approximately one a month).  Marriage fraud

in Tajikistan is not common apart from DV applicants.  Tajik

society is very traditional and is generally not open to

marriage to foreign citizens.  In addition, there are relatively

few Tajik-Americans, negating the rampant marriage fraud that

comes with large diaspora communities.

6.  (SBU) DV FRAUD:  DV fraud in Tajikistan echoes that of the

Central Asian region.  Almaty recently reported a sham marriage

(pop-up derivative) in a Tajik DV case.  Though high school

equivalent documents cannot be trusted implicitly, Tajiks

roughly fall into two categories and can be assessed based on

overall life situation: agricultural laborers from the villages

and mountains (unlikely to have earned a high school education)

and city residents (usually have college degrees in addition to

high school equivalent education).

7.  (SBU) ACS and PASSPORT FRAUD:  Post has yet to record ACS or

passport fraud in Tajikistan.  Due to the small American citizen

community, the Consular Officer and Embassy local staff are

often personally acquainted with resident Americans.  Few Tajiks

have U.S. citizenship, CRBA's are issued no more than once a

year, and many of the Americans resident in Tajikistan have

diplomatic or official passports.  Lost or stolen passports are

rare occurrences and in the past few years lost passports were

often returned within one week of disappearance.

8.  (SBU) ADOPTION FRAUD:  Very few U.S. citizens successfully

adopt in Tajikistan.  Those who choose to follow the full legal

adoption system are often forced to give up due to senseless

bureaucratic wrangling.  The government of Tajikistan does not

have a set of laws governing international adoption and is

reluctant to make progress, leaving a chaotic and arbitrary

process.  Large unofficial bribes are suspected to be the reason

for the few completed adoptions in Tajikistan.  There are no

NGOs or agencies in Tajikistan that work on adoption issues, and

DUSHANBE 00000195  002.2 OF 002

an American citizen recently could not even find Tajik lawyers

or judges willing to look at his adoption case.

9.  (SBU) Fraudulent documents required for adoption are not

difficult to obtain.  During an I-604 orphan investigation, post

discovered forged hospital records and a fraudulent birth

certificate submitted "by mistake" by a self-declared adoption

facilitator.  The birth certificate, fraudulently issued by a

Tajik hospital, listed the adoption facilitator and his wife as

the orphan's birth parents.  The facilitator intended to use

this birth certificate in order to transport the adopted child

as his own to Almaty for visa processing and was caught because

he accidentally left it in the packet of information he

submitted for the I-604.

10.  (SBU) ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFITS FRAUD:  Post assists

DHS to verify documents and determine status.  Though Tajik

documents are not to be trusted as a rule, recent investigations

discovered exact cases of documented fraud.  In a recent asylum

case, post's investigation revealed a forged birth certificate

that was material in final determination of asylum status in the

United States.

11.  (SBU) COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES:

Document fraud is technically a criminal offence in Tajikistan.

In combating these crimes, the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs

is at best an occasionally competent partner.  The MFA

periodically informs us by diplomatic note about the numbers of

lost or stolen Tajik passports, and also cooperates with post's

requests for verification of civil documents (though usually

months later than requested).  But endemic corruption, shoddy

record keeping, and lack of prosecution for document fraud limit

the utility of cooperation.

12.  (U) AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN:  Post will address new

concerns and increase examples of documented fraud once NIV

processing begins in Tajikistan in Summer 2006.  An expected

boom in NIV applicants, able to interview in their own capital

for the first time, will undoubtedly increase the frequency and

complexity of NIV fraud.

13.  (U) STAFFING AND TRAINING:  Dushanbe Consular Section Chief

Evan McCarthy is also Post Prevention Manager.  He expects to

complete the Fraud Prevention for Managers course at FSI in

Spring 2006.  Post currently has one Consular FSN, Natalia

Pilipenko, and will hire two additional positions for the

opening of the new fully functional Consular section, one of

which will be FSN fraud investigator.  Natalia has received visa

and document fraud training during the FSN Consular Training

Seminar at RSC Frankfurt, October 1998.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51231

date: 1/31/2006 11:48

refid: 06DUSHANBE199

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L DUSHANBE 000199

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL:  1/31/2016

TAGS: PGOV, ECON, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIK CABINET SHUFFLE PLACES OLD RAHMONOV ALLY IN KEY ECON

POSITION

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Hoagland, Ambassador, US Embassy

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.  (U)  Tajik President Rahmonov appointed Matlubkhon Davlatov

as State Advisor to the President for Economic Policy, replacing

Faizullo Kholboboyev.  The January 30 decree elevated Davlatov

to the senior economic position in Tajikistan and named

Kholboboyev Representative to the CIS and the Eurasian Economic

Community (EAEC), a move considered a demotion.

2.  (C)  Davlatov comes from Rahmonov's hometown of Dangara and

is reported to be Rahmonov's maternal uncle.  According to some

observers, Davlatov is one of Rahmonov's closest confidants.

Starting in the early 1990s, he played various roles in

Tajikistan's privatization efforts until appointed Chief of the

Presidential Agency on Financial Control in 2001.  Thought to be

highly corrupt and anti-reform, the former Secretary of the

Communist Party Committee of the Academy of Sciences may have

made his fortune selling properties during the privatization

schemes.  Davlatov's son works for the Ministry of Security

(MoS) and Davlatov allegedly has at least one MoS security

officer with him at all times.

3.  (C)  Davlatov's appointment came as part of a larger

shake-up of mid-level government officials, and may have been

motivated by a personal conflict between Kholboboyev and

National Bank (NBT) Chairman Murodali Alimardonov when the World

Bank and IMF were inspecting the NBT's activities.  A PhD in

Economics, Kholboboyev has the reputation as being less rich,

less corrupt and more reform-minded than most of Rahmonov's

cabinet.

4.  (C)  COMMENT:  Davlatov's appointment could signal a shift

away from reform and towards a more Soviet way of approaching

the economy, or it could be part of the on-going effort to

consolidate power and wealth in the hands of the First Family.

His reputation for corruption and incompetence has not inspired

confidence on the street in Dushanbe and may not do much to pull

in the Western investors Rahmonov wants to court.  END COMMENT

5.  (C)  BIO:  Matlubkhon Davlatov

Born 17 January 1950 in Dangara.

1970 -- Graduated from Tajik State University. Candidate of

Economic Sciences

1970-72 -- Served in Soviet Army

1972-83 -- Graduate Student, scientist at Institute of Economy,

Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan

1983-88 -- Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Academy

of Sciences

1988-90 -- Leading Scientist at Institute of Economy, Academy of

Sciences

1990-94 -- Chief Specialist, Deputy Chairman of the State

Property Committee

1994-2004 -- Chairman of the State Property Committee

2005 -- Chairman of State Financial Control

January 30, 2006  Economic Advisor to the President

Davlatov is married and has six children.  Speaks good Tajik and

Russian, some English.

ARMBRUSTER

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51334

date: 2/1/2006 3:41

refid: 06DUSHANBE202

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000202

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/CACEN, SA

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID, EFIN, KPAO

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN- THE U.S. ROLE IN DEBT RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT

TALKING POINTS DELIVERED

REF: STATE 12263

1.  Deputy Chief of Mission delivered talking points per Reftel

January 31 to Sherali Jononov, Head of Legal Department at the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Jononov acknowledged U.S. economic

assistance and leadership in the Multilateral Debt Relief

Initiative.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51352

date: 2/1/2006 10:39

refid: 06DUSHANBE204

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L DUSHANBE 000204

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EUR/CACEN, EUR/ACE, DRL, SA

E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/1/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, PINR, TI

SUBJECT: NDI LOCAL DIRECTOR DEPARTS

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Hoagland, Ambassador, EXEC, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b)

1.  (U)  National Democratic Institute (NDI) local Director

Gegham Sargsyan left Tajikistan on Wednesday morning, February

1, after a final unannounced police check and brief detention on

the evening of January 31.  The NDI Director had been wrangling

with authorities for the past week or so, since they would not

allow him to re-register his Dushanbe residency.  On

instructions from NDI in Washington, Sargsyan had already

planned to depart on February 1.

2. (U)  Sargsyan called PolOff at 7:50 p.m. Tuesday, saying

there were four policemen in his apartment, demanding that he

come to the local police precinct for a "two minute procedure."

PolOff arrived at the apartment and tried to convince police

that this was unnecessary, since Sargsyan was leaving the

following day.  DCM arrived at the apartment a few minutes

later.  At that point, Sargsyan agreed to go the precinct police

station accompanied by the DCM.

3.  (C)  Once at the precinct, police escorted Sargsyan and DCM

to the bare office of the local Commander.  The precinct happens

to be in the Embassy's neighborhood.  The Commander asked

Sargsyan his citizenship, which is Armenian.  He then asked

whether he had any family ties to Iran.  Sargsyan said he did.

The Commander briefly lectured the DCM about Tajikistan's

political situation, saying Tajikistan is not a country like

Iran.  It is a "secure society, civilized, and building

democracy."  DCM said he understood Tajikistan very well.  DCM

added that the Ambassador and Foreign Minister had reached an

understanding in principle on NDI and were working to resolve

all problems, including Sargsyan's status.  If that had been

worked out at such a high level, DCM asked, "why are you holding

Sargsyan?"  The Commander followed with a few more questions.

"Does Sargsyan work for the Embassy?"  Answer: no.  When will

the new Embassy be completed?  Answer: This summer.  That ended

the "procedure."   The atmosphere throughout the meeting was

serious, but not intimidating.

4.  (C)  On February 1, DCM reached Sargsyan on the plane before

takeoff.  Sargsyan thanked the Embassy for the support and said

he was sure the police interview would have been difficult

without Embassy intervention.  He felt the initial police plan

was to intimidate him one final time before leaving Tajikistan.

5. (C)  The Ambassador will meet with the Deputy Foreign

Minister (the Foreign Minister is in London) to strongly protest

this latest blatant attempt to keep NDI as marginalized as

possible, and will follow up with Foreign Minister Nazarov as

soon as he returns.

6. (C)  COMMENT:  After a long period during which NDI remained

unregistered but continued to work normally, the Tajik Security

Services resumed harassment and intimidation around the time

that Moscow began to publicize the alleged British spy scandal,

linking intelligence operatives to NGOs.  The Ambassador will

continue to press forcefully, making clear that continued

pressure on NDI, and other U.S. NGOs, could have serious

repercussions for U.S.-Tajik relations.  The old guard is alive

and well in Tajikistan, but we know there are reformers and the

ideological fight for Tajikistan is still on.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51360

date: 2/1/2006 11:37

refid: 06DUSHANBE208

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000208

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/CACEN, EUR/ACE, DRL, SA

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIK PRISON FACILITIES IN POOR CONDITION

REF: DUSHANBE 058

1.  (U)  PolOff visited a youth detention center and

Tajikistan's central penitentiary medical facility January 31.

Both facilities are in poor condition and lack adequate medical

supplies and equipment.  Deputy Minister of Justice, Izzatullo

Sharipov, granted EmbOffs access in hopes the United States

would provide medical supplies to the penitentiary system

(REFTEL).  The Ministry told EmbOffs it would consider allowing

other international organizations to accompany officers on

future visits.

2.  (U)  This visit is considered a significant breakthrough,

since many international organizations still do not have regular

monitoring privileges and access to prisons.  Ministry of

Justice officials told Embassy sources the Ministry denied the

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access after

several months of prison visits because the ICRC failed to

produce assistance to the penitentiary system and had only

complaints for the Ministry.  The Ministry complained that the

ICRC did not cooperate and communicate fully with the Ministry,

and wanted to visit the prisons only on ICRC terms and schedule.

3.  (U)  The penitentiary medical center is the only facility in

Tajikistan where prisoners can receive treatment.  The center,

set up on December 9, 2005, is currently under renovation and

has 29 doctors for 200 patients.  Approximately 25 patients are

crammed bed-to-bed in each room.  There are two small operating

rooms with what appeared to be 1950's equipment.  The operating

room PolOff viewed was unclean and unhygienic.  It had one

operating table, rusty pans, and one set of medical tools and no

signs of disinfectants.  Tuberculosis is the most common illness

among prisoners.  Officials noted they have enough TB

medication, donated by Moldova.

4.  (U)  PolOff spoke to patients in the presence of several

officers and guards.  Patients remarked that the doctors treat

them well and respond to their requests and complaints.  It is

likely their answers would have been more critical if officials

had not been present.

5.  (U)  The youth detention center housed 96 boys ages 14-18.

The boys live 25 to a room and attend school on the compound for

four hours a day.  They also work on the facilities, shoveling

snow, cleaning rooms, and cooking in the cafeteria.  A small

on-site factory is being built where the boys will work

manufacturing plastic goods for a small salary.  The head of the

detention center pointed out that the center observes the law

and does not force the youths to do hard labor.  Relatives are

allowed to visit the boys up to three times a week and are even

sometimes permitted to remain overnight with the boys.  The

youth detention center medical facility consists of one room

with some rubbing alcohol, a bed, and a set of examination tools

for all to share.

6.  (SBU)  COMMENT: To say the penitentiary system's medical

facilities are sub-standard would be a gross understatement; it

is clear why even the notoriously hard-handed Sharipov would

request assistance.  During the visit, all officials were

cooperative and seemed to genuinely want to improve their

facilities.  They specifically requested medical equipment and

renovation help, but never direct financial assistance.  Post is

working with Project Hope and the Ministry of Health to possibly

channel some medical supplies to the penitentiary system in

June.  Post continues efforts to establish a good relationship

with the notorious disciplinarian Sharipov and would like to see

sustained access to prison facilities before committing to U.S.

assistance.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51548

date: 2/2/2006 13:05

refid: 06DUSHANBE224

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 06DUSHANBE204

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----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000224

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

EUR/CACEN, EUR/ACE, DRL, SA

E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/2/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, PINR, TI

SUBJECT: NDI DIRECTOR SHOULD RETURN TO TAJIKISTAN

REF: DUSHANBE 204

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Hoagland, Ambassador, EXEC, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C)  SUMMARY:  The Ambassador and Acting Foreign Minister

Yatimov paved a way for National Democratic Institute (NDI)

local Director Gegham Sargsyan to register and return to

Dushanbe.  Sargsyan left for Moscow on February 1 after

harassment and pressure from Tajik officials.  Yatimov knew the

case in detail, and had met with Minister of Interior Sharipov

for forty minutes earlier in the week to persuade Sharipov that

Sargsyan did not pose a security threat to Tajikistan.  Yatimov

admitted to the Ambassador that Sargsyan and NDI represent a

"political problem" and did not hide behind the technical issues

of registration for Sargsyan as an individual.  He tried to

caution the Ambassador about the use of a formal protest for

this case, saying we need to keep the relationship as a whole in

context, but the Ambassador did not weaken his initial strong

protest of Tajikistan's treatment of NDI.  Post recommends that

Sargsyan return to work at NDI in Dushanbe as soon as possible.

END SUMMARY.

2. (C)  The Ambassador protested in very strong terms the

continued harassment of NDI.  He related his urgent meetings on

the subject with Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov and

Presidential Adviser Erkin Rahmatulloyev and the Foreign

Minister's assurance that the problem would be solved when he

returns from London later this week.  He also explained the

Embassy's intervention when Sargsyan was taken to the police

precinct on January 31.  He pointedly asked Yatimov if

Tajikistan's government knows what it is risking; saying U.S.

policy for Tajikistan is supported by cooperation on security,

commerce and energy, and political and economic reform.

3. (C)  Two of those three pillars of cooperation are in

excellent shape: security, and commerce and energy.

Tajikistan's shortsighted attacks on NGOs, specifically NDI,

endangers the rest of the relationship.  The Ambassador

explained that NDI is not a subversive, intelligence

organization out to overthrow Tajikistan.  That is a deliberate

distortion of reality calculated to subvert President Rahmonov's

open-door foreign policy and return Tajikistan to the status of

semi-independent colony.

4. (C) The Ambassador said he needed a response.

5. (C)  Yatimov said he understood, and Tajikistan places

"special attention" on its partnership with the United States.

Yatimov gave a brief synopsis of Sargsyan's infractions: for

example, changing residence without telling authorities and

working at NDI, while registering himself as a private citizen.

Yatimov said this would cause problems elsewhere, including the

United States.  The Ambassador rejoined, "We don't register

people or take notice if they move."

6. (C)  With the technical avenue closed for discussion, Yatimov

turned to his personal efforts to resolve the situation.  He

said he met with the Minister of Interior for forty minutes to

explain that Sargsyan is not a security threat, but his

mistreatment could cause damage to the U.S.-Tajik relationship.

Yatimov told Security Minister Sharipov that this is a political

problem.

7. (C) Yatimov said Tajikistan wonders why this is so important

DUSHANBE 00000224  002 OF 002

to the United States.  The Ambassador replied NDI is important

to Tajikistan to help President Rahmonov fulfill his own pledge

to build democracy.  Yatimov insisted that U.S. motives remain

very difficult to explain.  The Ambassador also outlined NDI's

U.S. domestic political support and its highly respected

reputation for doing good work around the world.  The Ambassador

reminded Yatimov of NDI's work with the President's ruling

People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT) and the plans,

now thwarted, to take PDPT officials to Poland for training.

8. (C)  The Ambassador referred to the unspoken compromise that

had kept the equilibrium until now.  For months NDI remained

unregistered, but continued to operate, albeit without American

directors.  The Ambassador said security forces taking local NDI

employees to hotels to "tell their secrets" is unacceptable.

The Ambassador asked for a guarantee that Sargsyan could come

back without harassment.

9. (C)  Yatimov said the issue is "officially solved" and

Sargsyan can come back as early as February 3.  Yatimov said

that with advance notice, he can notify his consular officer at

the airport to ensure there is no problem.

10. (C)  Yatimov referred to Tajikistan's economic problems,

thanked the United States for help on hydroelectric development,

and said people do not want to live under the present economic

conditions.  He said it is important to keep the relationship in

good condition.  The Ambassador said it is important not to let

small problems grow until they damage the overall relationship.

He ended by saying, "register NDI, watch them 24 hours a day,

surveille them all you want, and you'll find they are not doing

anything wrong."

11. (C)  COMMENT:  NDI is still not on any Tajik government

official's list of favorite NGOs.  But high-level Tajik

officials now understand that there are consequences to

over-reacting and overstepping the bounds.  Whether lower-level

officials feel constrained to respect those bounds remains to be

seen, but we should test the Tajiks at their word and see if NDI

can get back to work.  We are sure our Russian friends will be

working hard to re-write the rules and make NDI and other NGOs

persona non grata in Tajikistan, but until Tajikistan officially

closes its open-door policy, we'll try to keep as many NGOs as

possible in our talking points, public statements, and press

releases to convince Tajikistan of their good work and

intentions.   Gegham Sargsyan could be subject to petty

harassment should he return, but Post does not believe he would

be in any physical danger and recommends he return as soon as

practical, if only to make the statement that he was not forced

out.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51556

date: 2/2/2006 13:46

refid: 06DUSHANBE226

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000226

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/CACEN, DRL, SA

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN SDPT MEMBERS RELEASED FROM JAIL

1.  Two Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT) members

imprisoned after the parliamentary elections last year have been

released.  Nizomaddin Begmatov, the Rasulov District SDPT

Chairman and Nasim Shukurov, a member of the Sughd Region's SDPT

branch were released on January 31 and February 1, respectively

after serving nearly a year in prison.

2.  Begmatov and Shukurov attempted to register to run in the

February 2005 parliamentary elections, but government officials

did not register them.  They complained to the Rasulov district

judge and blamed the government for purposefully delaying their

registration for political reasons.  They also accused the judge

of being personally involved in the registration process.  The

argument became heated and the judge had them arrested and

charged with hooliganism on March 12, 2005.  Begmatov and

Shukurov were sentenced to one and one and a half years

respectively.

3.  In August 2005, their lawyer, Bakhtiyor Nasrulloev, appealed

to the Sughd Court for their release, claiming they were

illegally detained in the first place.  The Court never

responded to the appeal, but rather attributed their recent

release to "good behavior."

4.  SDPT National Chairman, Rahmatullo Zoyirov, is pleased with

their release and maintains the arrest was politically

motivated; the two members were wrongly indicted and did not

commit any crime.

5.  COMMENT:  The SDPT members were released after serving their

sentences for nearly one year because they are no longer seen as

political threats.  Parliamentary elections are long over and

the SDPT is seen by the ruling party as too weak financially and

politically to have any clout in the upcoming presidential

election in November.   END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51628

date: 2/3/2006 3:27

refid: 06DUSHANBE227

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

destination: 06DUSHANBE58

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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0926

RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1406

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000227

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/CACEN, EUR/ACE, DRL, SA

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, CASC, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIK PRISON FACILITIES IN POOR CONDITION

REF: A) DUSHANBE 208; B) DUSHANBE 058

1.  (U)  This message replaces REFTEL A, adding TAG: CASC.

2.  (U)  PolOff visited a youth detention center and

Tajikistan's central penitentiary medical facility January 31.

Both facilities are in poor condition and lack adequate medical

supplies and equipment.  Deputy Minister of Justice, Izzatullo

Sharipov, granted EmbOffs access in hopes the United States

would provide medical supplies to the penitentiary system

(REFTEL B).  The Ministry told EmbOffs it would consider

allowing other international organizations to accompany officers

on future visits.

3.  (U)  This visit is considered a significant breakthrough,

since many international organizations still do not have regular

monitoring privileges and access to prisons.  Ministry of

Justice officials told Embassy sources the Ministry denied the

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access after

several months of prison visits because the ICRC failed to

produce assistance to the penitentiary system and had only

complaints for the Ministry.  The Ministry complained that the

ICRC did not cooperate and communicate fully with the Ministry,

and wanted to visit the prisons only on ICRC terms and schedule.

4.  (U)  The penitentiary medical center is the only facility in

Tajikistan where prisoners can receive treatment.  The center,

set up on December 9, 2005, is currently under renovation and

has 29 doctors for 200 patients.  Approximately 25 patients are

crammed bed-to-bed in each room.  There are two small operating

rooms with what appeared to be 1950's equipment.  The operating

room PolOff viewed was unclean and unhygienic.  It had one

operating table, rusty pans, and one set of medical tools and no

signs of disinfectants.  Tuberculosis is the most common illness

among prisoners.  Officials noted they have enough TB

medication, donated by Moldova.

5.  (U)  PolOff spoke to patients in the presence of several

officers and guards.  Patients remarked that the doctors treat

them well and respond to their requests and complaints.  It is

likely their answers would have been more critical if officials

had not been present.

6.  (U)  The youth detention center housed 96 boys ages 14-18.

The boys live 25 to a room and attend school on the compound for

four hours a day.  They also work on the facilities, shoveling

snow, cleaning rooms, and cooking in the cafeteria.  A small

on-site factory is being built where the boys will work

manufacturing plastic goods for a small salary.  The head of the

detention center pointed out that the center observes the law

and does not force the youths to do hard labor.  Relatives are

allowed to visit the boys up to three times a week and are even

sometimes permitted to remain overnight with the boys.  The

youth detention center medical facility consists of one room

with some rubbing alcohol, a bed, and a set of examination tools

for all to share.

7.  (SBU)  COMMENT: To say the penitentiary system's medical

facilities are sub-standard would be a gross understatement; it

is clear why even the notoriously hard-handed Sharipov would

request assistance.  During the visit, all officials were

cooperative and seemed to genuinely want to improve their

facilities.  They specifically requested medical equipment and

renovation help, but never direct financial assistance.  Post is

working with Project Hope and the Ministry of Health to possibly

channel some medical supplies to the penitentiary system in

June.  Post continues efforts to establish a good relationship

with the notorious disciplinarian Sharipov and would like to see

sustained access to prison facilities before committing to U.S.

assistance.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51680

date: 2/3/2006 12:27

refid: 06DUSHANBE236

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

destination:

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RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 7711

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000236

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/CACEN, EUR/RUS, EUR/PGI, SA S/CT, INL

NSC FOR MERKEL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL, RS, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN:  RUSSIA KICKS OFF ITS G-8 YEAR

DUSHANBE 00000236  001.2 OF 002

1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Please handle accordingly.

Not for public Internet.

2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Russian Ambassador convened the other

G-8 ambassadors on February 2 to announce a cooperative effort

during the Russian G-8 presidency.  Although this seems to be

mostly a public relations effort, it is welcome.  We will seize

the opportunity to promote concrete cooperation where possible,

especially in counter-narcotics and counterterrorism.  END

SUMMARY.

3.  (U) Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan Ramazan Abdulatipov

invited the representatives of the G-8 nations resident in

Dushanbe to his embassy on February 2.  The UK, French, and U.S.

ambassadors and the German and Japanese charges attended.  Italy

and Canada do not have resident missions in Dushanbe.  Each

participant received an information package that included a

four-page history of Russia's participation in the G-7/G-8, two

pages of press statements by President Putin on Russia's right

to be in the G-8 (including from his January 31 press

conference), and a five-point agenda proposal for the coming

year:

-- That the G-8 ambassadors meet quarterly during the year;

-- That they conduct joint press conference on the progress of

G-8 work in the region;

-- That they organize regular joint meetings with Tajik

officials responsible for combating narcotics and terrorism;

-- That they organize informal meetings with the Tajik Ministry

of Foreign Affairs to assess G-8 work in Tajikistan; and

-- That an international conference take place in Fall 2006 in

Dushanbe, "Energy and Ecological Security in Central Asia:

Problems and Possibilities," organized by the German Ebert

Foundation and the U.S. Marshall Fund, with participation by

research centers from the United States, United Kingdom, France,

and Japan, with the G-8 diplomatic corps and international media

in attendance.

4.  (SBU) The UK Ambassador, given first response, welcomed the

Russian initiative.  When the U.S. Ambassador praised the

initiative and welcomed the Russian spirit of cooperation,

Abdulatipov said that Russia wants to demonstrate that in

Central Asia it can work with, rather than compete with, other

countries.  The U.S. Ambassador asked if such G-8 "cooperative

meetings" were taking place in the other Central Asian capitals,

Ambassador Abdulatipov responded that "this is an initiative

from our Foreign Ministry, of course."  The French Ambassador

and the German Charge pressed for the local EU working-level

representative to be included in all meetings "since the EU is a

de facto member of the G-8."  Ambassador Abdulatipov demurred

and said the meetings are for full members only, "although

occasional observers will not be turned away."

5.  (SBU) COMMENT:  The Russian initiative is a welcome public

relations effort.  That said, the meeting at the Russian Embassy

had an element of kabuki theater.  Abdulatipov, although

formally cordial, appeared somewhat uneasy, and the meeting was

relatively stiff.  There was a check-the-box quality to his

effort.  Nevertheless, Embassy Dushanbe will use this Russian

initiative to promote concrete Russian-U.S. efforts in

DUSHANBE 00000236  002.2 OF 002

counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism, at the least.  END

COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 51685

date: 2/3/2006 13:01

refid: 06DUSHANBE237

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

header:

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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHI

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