ICDP Commissioner and former President of the Swiss Confederation, Ruth Dreifuss, undertook a mission to Tajikistan to learn about developments leading to abolition of the death penalty in Tajikistan. During the mission she met with President Emomali Rahmon and with senior state officials including the Minister of Justice, Chairman of the Constitutional Court, the General Prosecutor, the Ombudsman the chairpersons of the Upper and Lower Houses of the Parliament and members of the Working Group on the Death Penalty. There were also meetings with representatives of the United Nations, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and leaders from civil society.
Following progressive restrictions on the use of the death penalty in 1998 and 2003 a moratorium was declared in 2004. A Working Group, established in 2010 by the President, is considering repeal of capital punishment in national law in view of public opinion and the international trend towards abolition. At the end of her visit Madame Dreifuss welcomed the positive developments that had already taken place and stressed that the international community would assist and support Tajikistan on the road to abolition. Madame Ruth Dreifuss had previously visited the country in May 2011. On that visit she met with government officials and participated in the International Conference “Central Asia without Death Penalty”. That mission contributed to a positive debate on capital punishment and received broad media coverage, raising public awareness about the issues.