Transport Corridors in Central Asia

Date: 18 December 2012
Location: UCA Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
Other languages: Русский язык |

Speaker: Agybay Smagulov
Date: 18 December 2012, 4 pm
Venue: The Ismaili Centre, Dushanbe, 47 Ismoili Somoni street.

Post-communist states have had two decades of experience with the free market of goods and ideas. With regards to liberal norms, after independence, they rapidly signed and ratified a variety of conventions and treaties. However, for many states these actions were simply opportunities to satisfy desires for membership in international institutions and appease Western donors and human rights critics. The case of the post-Soviet Tajikistan, in comparison to its northern neighbor of Kyrgyzstan, offers an opportunity for analysis. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have much in common socially, politically and economically, including being landlocked; having high rates of poverty and out-migration, and having majority Muslim, multi-ethnic populations. Both have signed a plethora of liberal international norms, including the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel and Inhuman Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Kyrgyzstan has also signed and ratified CAT’s Optional Protocol (OPCAT), which requires systematic visits to places of detention, while Tajikistan has steadfastly stalled on its commitments and refused to sign OPCAT or (unlike Kyrgyzstan) even allow visits to its prisons by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The comparison reveals differing degrees of what can be referred to as the liberal norms ratification-implementation gap, with the gap being significantly wider for Tajikistan. This lecture is based on a scientific literature review and 60 interviews conducted with experts and practitioners in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The research attempts to determine the factors that make the transition path of Tajikistan different from that of its northern neighbor in complying with international norms to prevent torture.

Please RSVP by email to with your name and affiliation, or call (93) 500 5960 / (37) 221 2687 / 224 5823.

Smagulov Agybay - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Tajikistan.
From 2005 to 2011 he worked as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In 2005, he worked as the director of the Department of Information and analysis and forecasts of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also worked as Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Islamic Republic of Iran and led the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Diplomatic rank: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the class II

The presentation will be conducted in Russian.

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