It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Muatar Saidmuradovna Khaidarova on December 20, 2021. Muatar helped pioneer ICNL’s work in Central Asia, becoming one of the foremost civil society law experts in the region. Muatar was universally respected not only for her expertise, but also for her kindness, generosity, determination, and willingness to share her knowledge with others.
Prior to starting her career with ICNL in 1997, Muatar was already an accomplished legal expert and civil society leader. Yet she found her calling in developing Tajikistan’s enabling environment for civil society, which was devastated by the civil war and economic crises in the 1990s. Muatar personally contributed to the development of dozens of laws that strengthen an enabling environment for civil society’s development in Tajikistan. As she gained recognition both within and outside of Tajikistan, Muatar contributed to global initiatives to promote enabling laws for civil society as an independent consultant and as a member of the OSCE’s ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly. During these years, she also volunteered to be a member of ICNL’s Advisory Council for eight years. Despite thoroughly enjoying work as an independent consultant and researcher, Muatar generously agreed to return to work with ICNL last year.
All of us who had the good fortune to know Muatar will always recall her amazing dedication and commitment to ICNL’s mission, colleagues, and partners. Muatar inspired a generation of civil society activists in Tajikistan and will be deeply missed by ICNL and our broader community. We convey our sympathies to her family and friends, and we will strive to carry on her legacy.