Human rights in Tajikistan

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Human rights in Tajikistan remain poor. Corruption continued to hamper democratic and social reform. The following human rights problems were reported: restricted right of citizens to change their government; torture and abuse of detainees and other persons by security forces; threats and abuse by security forces; impunity of security forces; lengthy pretrial detention; denial of right to fair trial; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; prohibited international monitor access to prisons; restricted freedom of speech, the press and media; restricted freedom of association; restrictions on freedom of religion, including freedom to worship; harassment of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); difficulties with registration and visas; violence and discrimination against women; trafficking in persons; and child labor.[1] Political opposition, and the press are heavily restricted.

Constitutional guarantees of a fair trial are not always observed, and torture often is used against individuals accused of crimes. Pretrial detention often is lengthy, and prosecutors control court proceedings. Prisons are overcrowded, and the incidence of tuberculosis and malnutrition is high among inmates. Violence against women is frequent, and Tajikistan is a source and transit point for trafficking in women.

Intimidation and killings of journalists and Censorship[edit]

In the 1990s dozens of journalists were killed or went missing in Tajikistan. The 2005 parliamentary elections brought increased closures of independent and opposition newspapers and attacks on journalists. In 2003 the government blocked access to the only Internet website run by the political opposition and in June 2014 YouTube was partially blocked by the government.[1]

Name change law[edit]

According to Ilan Greenberg writing in the New York Times, in 2007, Tajikistan's president, Emomali Rakhmon stated that the Slavic "-ov" ending must be dropped for all babies born to Tajik parents. The policy comes in the context of recent policies intended to remove vestiges of Soviet/Russian influence, while laws on this topic have existed since 1989. Some Tajiks have expressed confusion or opposition at the denial of the freedom to choose a name for one's child.[2] However, the president, Emomali Rahmon has stated that, the name change should be up to the will of each individual. [3]

Freedom of religion[edit]

Some activities of religious groups have been restricted by the requirement for registration with the State Committee on Religious Affairs. Islamic pilgrimages are restricted, and proselytizing groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses have suffered occasional persecution. Since October 22, 2007, Jehovah's Witnesses have had their activities banned by the government for the reason of neglecting army duty.[2]

Allegations of systematic violence against military conscripts[edit]

In June 2014 Global Voices Online reported that the practice of systematic violence against military conscripts (referred to as dedovshina) has risen to public awareness following a recent increase in incidences of manslaughter and suicides in the Tajik Army and the April 17 2014 death of Akmal Davlatova who was beaten to death by his lance sergeant, Farrukh Davlatov.[3][4] Kidnapping of recruits was said to be a common practice in Tajikistan and victims have sometimes videotaped their own kidnappings.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YouTube Partially Blocked In Tajikistan By RFE/RL's Tajik Service, June 10, 2014,
  2. ^ Jehovah's Witnesses: Office of Public Information Authorized Site
  3. ^ Tajikistan's Army Chokes Young Draftees to Death, Posted 10 June 2014 8:57 GMT ,
  4. ^ Radio Free Europe, 11 июня 2014, Таджикистан, Дело о «поперхнувшемся хлебом» солдате направлено в суд,
  5. ^ YouTube, Published on Apr 11, 2012, видео, добавленное с мобильного телефона,
  6. ^ Tajikistan's Army Chokes Young Draftees to Death, Posted 10 June 2014 8:57 GMT ,

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.