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Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Chair of Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matvienko visited Dushanbe 12-13 March, reportedly discussed migration, political-military cooperation and border issues with President Rahmon. Matvienko reiterated Russia will help Tajikistan strengthen borders ahead of Afghan presidential elections and NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. Russian FM Lavrov early March praised Tajikistan for hosting Russia’s 201st military base. Govt refrained from commenting on Russian actions in Ukraine. Parliament considering changing legislative basis of how Tajikistan is governed by doing away with regions, re-organising country as a single unit.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Govt in talks with Kyrgyzstan over border tensions that erupted Jan (see Kyrgyzstan). Tajik and Russian FMs 6 Feb signed protocol on Russian 201st military base in Tajikistan, following over a year of negotiations. Amid continued Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) attempts to reinforce Tajik-Afghan border with military equipment transfers, CSTO head in Dushanbe for talks with President Rahmon 19 Feb. Senior U.S. diplomat visited Tajikistan late Feb to discuss bilateral cooperation, Afghanistan. 4 men in northern district Istaravshan, Sughd province, reportedly arrested late Jan on suspicion of being members of outlawed religious extremist group Jamaat Ansarullah.

“Tajiks claim travel to Kyrgyzstan hindered”, IWPR, 4 Feb. 2014. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Sharp deterioration in relations with Kyrgyzstan following violent clashes at border (see Kyrgyzstan).   

Tajikistan

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) prosecutor’s office 6 Dec opened criminal case into 29 Nov clashes between security forces and some 20 gunmen in provincial capital Khorog, prompted by attempt to arrest drug control official accused of weapons smuggling. Incident perceived as move by recently re-elected President Rahmon to assert control over restive GBAO. Russian ambassador in 10 Dec media interview said Russian troops from 201st military base ready to help Tajikistan defend border with Afghanistan should situation deteriorate following NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. 5 students sentenced to 2 years’ jail for fighting alongside rebels in Syria. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

President Rahmon, in power since 1992, re-elected for another 7 years in 6 Nov elections with 83.1% of votes. Most significant rival candidate barred from running; OSCE 7 Nov reported elections “lacked genuine choice and meaningful pluralism”. Rahmon 20 Nov replaced defence minister Sherali Hairulloev, 23 Nov dismissed PM Akil Akilov. Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Sec Gen Nikolai Bordyuzha expressed concern over instability on Afghan-Tajik border, announced strengthening of border through CSTO forces by late Dec. Russia’s special envoy Zamir Kabulov 20 Nov expressed concern over security challenges in region from Islamist groups, said Russian military presence in Tajikistan would increase in significance.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Main opposition candidate Oynihol Bobonazarova 11 Oct dropped out of 6 Nov presidential elections after narrowly missing 210,000 signatures required to register as candidate; said campaign subject to pressure, harassment from authorities, police, media. Parliament 1 Oct ratified agreement with Russia to extend Russia’s 201st military base until 2042, in return for duty-free oil imports from Russia, preferential treatment for Tajik migrant workers, military assistance. Govt also began negotiations with Russia on use of Ayni airbase. Rakhmon 21 Oct held talks with Afghan President Karzai on security, energy cooperation, creating Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan railway line.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Opposition parties 10 Sept announced lawyer and rights activist Oynihol Bobonazarova as their candidate in presidential elections set for 6 Nov; joins 2 other candidates running against incumbent President Rahkmon, current favourite to win. During 23 Sept meeting in Sochi, Russia, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) agreed to increase assistance to Tajik security forces to protect country’s border with Afghanistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

President Rahmon visited Moscow 1 Aug: promised stalled agreement on extending lease for Russian base would be ratified by parliament this autumn; also reportedly secured tacit support of Kremlin in upcoming presidential elections. Harassment of opposition figures continues ahead of elections set for 6 Nov.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

President Rahmon expressed concern over growing religious extremism. Authorities suspended 5 out of country’s 6 legally-run madrasahs in northern province Sughd over lack of documentation. Zayd Saidov, former industry minister who faced corruption charges after he formed political party earlier this year, additionally charged with rape of a minor.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Former industry minister Zaid Saidov, who in April announced he would create opposition party, charged with theft, polygamy; claimed allegations politically motivated. Supreme Court sentenced Islamic Renaissance Party (HINT) official Sherik Karamkhudoev to 14 years’ prison for founding organised criminal group, organising mass disorders, illegal weapons possession. Authorities reported 2 Tajiks killed while fighting with rebels in Syria. France informed authorities that French troops in Dushanbe supporting NATO in Afghanistan would withdraw by 1 July.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

President Rakhmon met with EU leaders in Brussels 10 April. In annual address to parliament 26 April Rakhmon promised Nov presidential elections will be fair, transparent. Mukhamadal Khayit, leader of opposition Islamic Renaissance Party, beaten 19 April.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Tajikistan delayed ratifying agreement on Russia’s 201st military base near Dushanbe, reportedly pushing Russia for financial support for hydropower projects, more military assistance; Moscow signalled Tajikistan has one month to ratify agreement. Reports of increasing Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) activity in northern Afghanistan, affecting Tajikistan. U.S. Under Sec State Robert Blake late Feb dismissed idea of “imminent Islamic militant threat” to Central Asia, but said Tajikistan vulnerable, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan worried by possibility of militants entering Ferghana Valley via Tajikistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Visiting U.S. Asst Sec State Robert Blake met with President Rakhmon 20 Feb, reiterated that U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan will not transit through Tajikistan; UK mid-Feb continued negotiations on transit option through Tajikistan for its equipment. Blake also called for free and fair Nov elections. Opposition figures reporting receiving anonymous death threats. Former Tajik PM Abdullojonov detained in Ukraine on international arrest warrant after arriving from U.S., wanted for alleged involvement in 1996 assassination attempt on President Rakhmon, plus other offences. Border guards killed several Afghan nationals suspected of trafficking drugs.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

Interior Minister 18 Jan acknowledged presence in at least 3 regions of small groups of terrorists previously fighting in Afghanistan. Announcement followed week-long special operation against Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in western Sughd province near Uzbek border, resulting in 9 arrests, seizure of guns and ammunition; 1 IMU member, 1 policeman killed. 6 suspected IMU arrested in south late month. Soldier died in south 1 Jan during a gun battle with 20 intruders attempting to enter Tajikistan from Afghanistan. Russian FM Lavrov visited Dushanbe 17 Jan to jump-start implementation of agreement on extension of Russia’s military presence in Tajikistan for another 30 years; in return, Tajikistan asking Russia to lighten migration rules for Tajiks, cancel custom taxes on Russian oil, help modernise Tajik army, invest in hydropower projects. Facebook and RFE/RL websites again blocked.

Tajikistan

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Country joined WTO 10 Dec. Tajik, Russian and Afghan police carried out joint drug raids 10 Dec in several Afghan villages. Tajik communications service 21 Dec instructed internet providers to block access to 131 websites, including major social network sites; decision reportedly annulled 26 Dec. Facebook not on list of sites, but inaccessible since late Nov. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Russia and Tajikistan 5 Oct signed agreement allowing Russian troops to remain at military base in Tajikistan until 2042; U.S. ambassador said U.S.-Tajikistan ties not affected. Court 24 Oct ordered closure of prominent rights group Amparo. Amnesty International urged President Rakhmon to take measures against widespread use of torture in pre-trial detention facilities. 2 Tajik citizens arrested in Afghanistan for alleged IMU membership and planning terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. Islamic Renaissance Party leader said support for party increasing in Gorno-Badakhshan, site of controversial military operation against alleged militants in July.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

President Rakhmon 19 Sept visited restive eastern region Gorno-Badakhshan, site of July-Aug special security operation that left 70 dead; his meeting with residents, during which he defended deployment of military, criticised local law-enforcement officials, broadcast on national TV. EU 7 Sept expressed concern over east, demanded govt allow access to international organizations, diplomatic missions; also called for “transparent investigation” into murders of Islamic Renaissance Party member Sabzali Mamadrizoev in July, former rebel commander Imomnazar Imomnazarov in Aug. Supreme Court 11 Sept jailed 15 alleged members of banned Islamist group Jamaat Ansarullah; defendants arrested in eastern Rasht area and Pakistan. Dushanbe and Moscow 17 Sept discussed extension of Russian lease on military base. Russian troops 19 Sept started military exercises near Dushanbe.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Local Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Province (GBAO) rebels reportedly disarmed early month as part of peace deal; rebel leader Ayombekov 12 Aug surrendered to central authorities demanded free and fair trial for 21July murder of GBAO head of State Committee for National Security (GKNB) Nazarov. Tensions flared again late month in GBAO capital Khorog: Imomnazar Imomnazarov, former rebel commander also suspect in Nazarov’s murder, killed 22 Aug, govt denied involvement; thousands gathered in Khorog 22-23 Aug to demand explanation for killing, attempted to storm administrative building, 2 demonstrators reportedly injured after police fired warning shots. Govt troops 24 Aug began partial withdrawal from GBAO after deal reached between govt, local civil society activists. Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) Vahdat regional office torched 10 Aug by unidentified group. Prosecutor General accused IRP members of “grave crimes” including fomenting Khorog unrest, membership in banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Hizb ut-Tahrir; IRP said allegations attempt to shut down party. Trial of 15 suspected members of banned Islamist organization Jamaat Ansarullah began 30 Aug.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2012

Deteriorated

Month saw escalating fighting in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Province (GBAO), centred around regional capital Khorog: govt 24 July imposed communications blackout, launched large-scale security operation targeting fighters loyal to former opposition fighter and Ishkoshim border-guard chief Tolib Ayombekov; accused Ayombekov of ordering 21 July killing of GBAO head of State Committee for National Security (GKNB) General Nazarov, running drug and tobacco smuggling; Ayombekov said Nazarov’s killing an “accident”, argued govt wants to purge region of former field commanders; govt stated 48 killed in operation, including 30 rebels, 17 govt troops and 1 civilian, further 40 rebels arrested, including 8 Afghan citizens. Govt 25 July called ceasefire, began negotiations with rebels; President Rahmon offered amnesty to rebels who surrender, excluding 3 accused of Nazarov murder and Ayombekov. During 25 July discussions with President Rakhmon, Afghan President Karzai promised to deploy additional troops along border. Chief prosecutor for district near Khorog injured 24 July in car bombing. Islamic Revival Party (IRP) 30 July claimed regional head Sabzali Mamadrizoyev murdered following detention by security forces in Khorog. Authorities 16 July announced arrest of suspect in June murder of president’s brother-in-law Safarov.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Police 14 June announced President Rahmon’s brother-in-law shot dead in Dushanbe. Military 9-14 June hosted Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) military exercises focusing on counter-terrorism, 18-29 June participated in drills with U.S. forces (see Kyrgyzstan). Authorities 20-22 June detained 3 Kyrgyz from Batken for allegedly smuggling mercury (see Kyrgyzstan). Dushanbe court 26 June jailed 12 alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir members. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Supreme Court 3 May ruled Islamist Jamaat Ansarullah extremist group, banned organisation. Court 30 May jailed 17 suspected Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) members. Officials 11 May announced arrest of suspected regional IMU leader Zilmurod Eshonkhonov, 2 associates in southern Khatlon Province. UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Méndez 18 May reported police, prosecutors using violence as “main investigatory tool”. Former Popular Front leaders 16 May announced plans for new Popular Front Without Weapons party to help unite political opposition. Ethnic Uzbek journalist and outspoken critic of Uzbek, Tajik govts Salim Shamsiddinov attacked 5 May by unknown assailants in Qurghon-Teppa.     

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

Court in northern city of Khujand 19 April jailed 34 suspected Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) members on terrorism-related charges. President Rahmon 17 April said country rejected foreign request to use military bases as Russia “only strategic partner”, but warned Moscow should respect Tajikistan; 20 April said NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan will affect regional security.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

Authorities 3 March blocked 4 Russian-language news websites over potential national security concerns; OSCE called on Tajikistan to reverse decision. Uzbekistan late-month announced suspension of gas supplies from 1 April. U.S. govt report on religious freedom flagged Tajikistan as a country of concern for first time.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Uzbek delegation arrived in Dushanbe 20 Feb for negotiations on delimitation of border with Tajikistan, stalled since 2009. Trial of 34 residents of Isfana region accused of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan membership began 30 Jan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

President Rahmon 5 Jan reshuffled govt, named new Interior Minister, Justice Minister, heads of Security Council and presidential administration, extended PM’s powers. Exiled Tajik opposition leader Dodojon Atovullo seriously injured in 12 Jan stabbing in Moscow; attack thought to be politically motivated. Acting chief prosecutor of northern Sughd province 17 Jan announced arrest of 135 people in 2011 on charges of membership of religious extremist groups, 14 criminal proceedings begun. In rare development, Tajik authorities 26 Jan reportedly arrested son of highly-placed general for drug smuggling.

Tajikistan

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Russian ambassador said relations between countries unaffected by Nov dispute involving Tajikistan’s jailing of 2 Russian pilots. Regional court convicted 53 people over role in Sept 2010 suicide bombing in northern city Khujand.



Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

Tensions with Russia rose after Tajik court 8 Nov sentenced 2 pilots working for Russian aviation company to 8.5 years prison for border violations, smuggling; Russian Foreign Ministry said verdict “politically charged”, warned it could harm relations. Russia 14 Nov announced possible ban on Tajik labor migrants in Russia and initiated round-up, deportations; 21 Nov threatened to impose sanctions on vegetable imports from Tajikistan. Tajik court released pilots 22 Nov. Tajik border guards 13 Nov killed Uzbek border guard; Tashkent accused Tajik guards of attempting to assist drug traffickers Uzbeks were trying to detain. Court in northern Sughd province 3 Nov sentenced 3 people to 8-9 years prison for membership in Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). Supreme Court 11 Nov sentenced 28 people to jail, including 7 life sentences, for supporting IMU-affiliated terrorist group led by Abdullo Rahimov, killed in April.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Annual power cuts began early Oct; initial limits halve electricity supplies to most rural areas. U.S. Sec State Clinton 22 Oct met President Rahmon in Dushanbe, discussed concerns over rights, security along Afghan border, drug trafficking. Provincial court 17 Oct sentenced 4 men to lengthy prison terms, convicted of membership in banned Hizb ut-Tahrir movement. In northern Sughd province BBC reporter Urunboy Usmonov sentenced 14 Oct to 3 years jail for not informing authorities about contacts with Hizb ut-Tahrir, but freed under amnesty law. Newspaper journalist Makhmadyusuf Ismoilov, held since Nov 2010 on charges including libel, insulting officials, extortion, freed 14 Oct, but fined and banned from journalism for 3 years. 4 men sentenced to 20-22 years jail mid Oct for Hizb ut-Tahrir membership.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

Govt 2 Sept announced 49-year extension of Russian military presence, lease of military base, anti-drug cooperation. Tajikistan hosted large scale Collective Security Treaty Organisation exercises with Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan in preparation for hypothetical conflict, social unrest. Tajik Islamist group Jamaat Ansarullah early Sept released video threatening govt forces, “non-believers”; group’s existence refuted by security forces.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Talks continued with Russia over possible lease of strategic military base, future of Russian military presence. Authorities 19 Aug reportedly opened cases against 22 former students at Islamic universities and religious schools in effort to crack down on Islamism. BBC reporter detained in June over alleged membership of Hizbut-Tahrir 19 Aug accused authorities of torturing him. Parliament unanimously approved amnesty bill for 15,000 people including 4,000-plus prisoners, including some political prisoners.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Sec Gen Nikolai Bordyuzha 13 July held 3-day talks with President Rakhmon, senior security officials amid increasing nervousness over border security following U.S. scheduled withdrawal from Afghanistan; Tajik officials again ruled out return of Russian border troops. Authorities 12 July began trial of 53 alleged IMU militants suspected of involvement in Sept 2010 suicide bombing of police station; 14 July released BBC reporter Urunboy Usmonov, detained in June on terrorism charges. Officials 20 July claimed victory against Islamist rebels in eastern Rasht region following 10-month military campaign. Interior Minister 21 July warned again that rebel commander Mahmud Khudoyberdiyev might invade country; previous warnings proved baseless. Parliament same day passed amendment setting 5-year prison sentence for organizers of unapproved rallies, also passed law limiting children’s access to mosques.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

Lower Chamber of Parliament increased fines for unsanctioned demonstrations 1 June. Unusual outbreak of demonstrations in Khorog, Gorno-Badakhshan region 10 and 15 June. Possible cause judicial corruption; two judges reported beaten, regional court and prosecutor’s office damaged. Lower House of Parliament 15 June approved bill banning children from attending mosques amid concerns of growing radicalisation of youth; prominent Islamic figure Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda said move “openly against the will of God”. Continued arrests of alleged Islamic radicals, including BBC journalist Urunboy Usmanov, detained 15 June on suspicion of membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir; BBC denied charges, demanded immediate release. Govt 20 June announced 2 suspected Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan members killed during operation in Rasht district. Tajik-Russian talks over new Afghan border cooperation 21 June produced no breakthrough; scheduled visit of Russian defence minister postponed amid growing bilateral tensions.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2011

Unchanged

Court 4 May sentenced 5 people to 30 years or life in prison for role in Sept 2010 jailbreak; all had previous convictions on terrorism charges. Interior minister 15 May said army killed 2 members of banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan militant group in Rasht valley; both had escaped during Sept jail break. Freedom House 2 May named Turkmenistan as one of world’s 10 worst countries for press freedom. 5 May media reports suggested Russia in talks with Tajikistan to deploy 3,000 troops along border with Afghanistan. Govt price controls in Dushanbe exacerbated food crisis. Authorities late May ordered internet providers block access to website of Akbar Turajonzoda, popular Islamic preacher and govt critic.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

Interior ministry said security forces 14 Apr killed militant leader Abdullo Rakhimov and at least 16 others in Rasht valley; group allegedly behind Sept 2010 attack on military convoy in Kamarob gorge. Former United Tajik Opposition militant Shokh Iskandarov, believed to be responsible for govt’s recent military successes in Rasht valley, appointed region’s deputy police chief. Kyrgyz-Tajik relations remain tense after series of border incidents: 8 Apr attacks on Kyrgyz trucks by group of young Tajiks, 18 Apr protests over detention of Kyrgyz citizen previous day by local Tajik officials. Govt continued attacks on religious expression, demolishing mosque in southern provincial capital Qurghonteppa over alleged violation of new law barring people under 18 from public worship. Severe energy rationing lifted 17 Apr; followed unusual protest 8 Apr near energy supplier HQ.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

Tensions with Moscow increased after negotiations over deployment of Russian border patrol mission to Tajik-Afghan border ended in stalemate 5 March. Russia late month increased custom duties for oil exports to Tajikistan; analysts suggest Russia seeking military base in Tajikistan. Mirzokhuja Akhmadov, UTO veteran and former police colonel in Rasht, 1 March said govt still conducting anti-terrorist operations in Tajikabad, Nurabad; was reportedly questioned by authorities 8 March over suspected involvement in Sept 2010 attack on military convoy in Kamarob Gorge. Tajikistan 14 March cancelled Dushanbe-Khujand train route that runs thorough Uzbek territory, deepening transport blockade between countries. Uzbekistan 13 March declared opposition to Pakistan’s plan to import hydropower from Tajikistan through Afghanistan, claiming violation of international laws as it ignores demands of downstream states in region. Amid fears of imminent energy crisis govt 20 March reintroduced widespread electricity rationing. In 28 March meeting with President Rahmon, Iranian President Ahmadinejad pledged to help complete Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Govt harassment of opposition, crackdown on religious extremism continued.  At 11 Feb National Security Council meeting President Rakhmon identified Islamic radicalism as major threat, called for continued return of students studying at Islamic schools abroad, increased monitoring of mosques. Following 7 Feb beating of key party figure, opposition Islamic Renaissance Party accused govt of corruption, trampling on rights, attempting to intimidate opposition. Authorities 3 Feb reportedly detained suspects in series of Jan planned terror attacks on state security, police buildings in city Khujand. Interior Ministry official found dead in hotel room 5 Feb; amid speculation on possible causes govt reported heart failure, independent investigation said evidence of suicide.



Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

Counterinsurgency operations continued in Rasht Valley. 4 Jan raid killed 7 members and apprehended one of group led by former civil war militant commander Ali Bedaki; Bedaki among dead. Media 18 Jan reported authorities conducting operations against another group led by Mukhammadkarim Abrakhimov in Rasht; govt denied. Govt 24 Jan announced had foiled 2 planned car bomb attacks in northern city Khojent. Court 22 Jan sentenced alleged leader of banned Islamist movement Hizb ut-Tahrir, Yusuf Khafizov, to 18 years in prison; 7 other members also jailed. Religious Affairs Committee 10 Jan announced compilation of 52 approved sermon topics to be used by Imams for Friday prayers, angering clerics and members of Islamic Renaissance Party, who claim govt censorship.               

Tajikistan

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

Continued crackdown on banned radical Islamic organizations in northern Sughd province. 15 suspected members of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) arrested over month, 10 alleged Hizb-ut Tahrir activists arrested early month. Troops launched reconnaissance operation in village in Baljuvon region south of Dushanbe and close to volatile Rasht valley after 3 law enforcement officers killed in 1 Dec clash with armed militants in area. 8 fugitives of Aug high-security prison break arrested in northern Afghanistan 19 Dec.


 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

Govt declared campaign against militants in eastern Rasht district almost complete with over 20 killed, 30 arrested or surrendered. Communication blackout of area continued. Govt accused followers of banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) of 3 Sept bombing of police station in northern town of Khujand; claimed IMU targeted in 2 operations in northern Isfara district late Oct, reported 5 militants killed, several arrested. Security along border with Afghanistan strengthened after Afghan authorities early month warned against possible Taliban incursions. Govt crackdown on perceived sources of Islamic radicalisation: over 600 students enrolled at religious schools abroad returned home after President Rakhmon claimed they risked indoctrination by radical groups; 28 mosques shut down in eastern Gorno-Badakhshan region 19 Nov for failing to register; opposition Islamic Renaissance Party ordered to shut down prayer house on its premises. 9 Hizb-ut-Tahrir activists arrested 18-22 Nov in north.



 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

Ongoing govt campaign against militants in Rasht district, site of 19 Sept ambush of 80-strong military convoy. Govt early month denied military and media reports that 34 troops killed in incidents in region, including in military helicopter crash; claimed only 7 killed due to technical failure. Scarce information about ongoing operations from state-controlled media since govt cut communication with Rasht in beginning of campaign. OSCE media watchdog mid-month voiced concern over media pressure after govt threatened to punish journalists criticising campaign, blocked printing of several newspapers, cut access to websites of independent outlets. President Rahmon 12 Oct offered amnesty to all militants who cease fighting; govt mid-month claimed 2 key field commanders and 27 militants surrendered weapons. Rahmon 26 Oct denied reports of incursions from al-Qaeda, Taliban; said fighting in Rasht led by Tajiks, claimed Tajik-Afghan border well protected. 14 suspected terrorists captured in connection to 3 Sept suicide bombing of police station in north. Govt intensifying pressure over Tajik students enrolled at Islamic universities abroad to return home; late month discovered 20 unregistered religious schools in south.

“Worries grow as Tajik government continues operation against militants”, RFE/RL, 4 Oct. 2010.

For latest report, see Crisis Group Asia Report N°162, Tajikistan: On the Road to Failure, 12 Feb. 2009.



Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2010

Unchanged

String of deadly incidents overmonth signalled growing instability. Explosion at police station in north 3Sept killed 2, wounded 25 police; previously unknown militant group JamaatAnsarullah in Tajikistanclaimed responsibility. Blast at Dushanbenightclub 5 Sept wounded at least 7. Govt 11 Sept claimed 20 militants killedafter troops clashed with Taliban fighters on border with Afghanistan.Secret negotiations between govt and former United Tajik Opposition (UTO)leaders in Garm 15 Sept aimed to defuse possible clashes. At least 25 killed inambush of 80-strong military convoy 19 Sept in Rasht district. Govt alleged UTO commandersfrom 1992-1997 civil war Mullo Abdullo and Ali Bedak and militants who escapedfrom high-security prison 23 Aug responsible for attack. Govt 22 Sept said atleast 5 UTO fighters killed in counter-terrorism operation; later reported manyothers detained. 2 fugitives of Aug prison break reported killed, 7 detainedover month.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

Authorities 23 Aug announced 25 prisoners, including Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan militants and opposition members, escaped from high-security prison in Dushanbe, killing at least 5 guards. Escapees include Afghan, Russian nationals. Senior security official 20 Aug dismissed Kyrgyz concerns over infiltration of Islamic militants from Tajikistan into Kyrgyzstan. Madrasah leader and students in district near Dushanbe arrested early month for alleged illegal religious activity. 5 newspapers banned 5 Aug for alleged criticism of President. Hizb-ut-Tahrir activist sentenced to 14 yrs jail in north 14 Aug.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

Security officials 24 July announced arrest of 6 followers of rebel Mahmud Khudoyberdiyev this year; leader and supporters sought for role in 1998 armed incursion in Sogd region. Interior Ministry late month announced arrest of alleged Uzbek al-Qaeda operative in first case charging Central Asian citizen with al-Qaeda membership. Authorities tightened security in Dushanbe after Supreme Court 7 July handed down prison sentences of up to 30 years to 49 associates, including 2 sons, of late senior govt minister Mirzo Ziyoev for formation and participation in armed groups. 2 alleged members of Islamic Jihad Union detained early month, extradited to Kyrgyzstan. 10 alleged Hizb-ut-Tahrir activists sentenced to 3-15 years in northern city of Khujand 30 July.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2010

Unchanged

Govt held UN-sponsored international water conference 8 June in Dushanbe, discussed water security, energy with Iranian President Ahmadinejad on sidelines. Iran 17 June threatened to halt Uzbek rail traffic through its territory unless latter stops blocking transit of cargo to Tajikistan. Continued standoff on railroad traffic seen as Uzbek response to controversial Tajik hydropower projects. Uzbekistan 15 June notified Tajikistan of intentions to close 1 of 3 railroad connections between countries allegedly due to economic unviability. Supreme Court 24 June sentenced 4 alleged members of banned Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir to 18 years’ prison. Govt began investigation into 2 explosions in Dushanbe 24 June.



Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2010

Unchanged

Court 18 May handed down 6 month to 6 year prison sentences to 36 people for membership in banned Islamic group Jamaat ut-Tabligh; several other alleged followers received suspended sentences. President Rahmon 12 May reinstated State Committee on Religious Affairs to oversee country’s religious organisations. During visit to country, Iranian Defence Minister 13 May said Tehran ready to mediate between Tajikistan, Uzbekistan on contentious hydropower construction projects.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2010

Unchanged

During early month visit, UNSG Ban expressed concern over dispute on construction of Rogun hydropower plant opposed by Uzbekistan for fears of water shortages; urged cooperative use of resources and against unilateral action. Public campaign on buying Rogun shares halted 15 Apr amid pressure from donors, reports of campaign’s negative macroeconomic impact. After 7 Apr violent ousting of President Bakiyev from power in Kyrgyzstan, authorities rejected possibility for similar events at home; said domestic corruption lower than in Kyrgyzstan.

  • “Repercussions of Tajik-Uzbek feud may be felt all the way in Afghanistan”, EurasiaNet, 1 Apr. 2010.  
  • For latest report, see Crisis Group Asia Report N°162, Tajikistan: On the Road to Failure, 12 Feb. 2009.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2010

Unchanged

President Rakhmon’s People’s Democratic Party won 55 of 63 parliament seats in 28 Feb elections denounced by western observers for failing to meet basic democratic standards. Coming second with 2 seats, largest opposition party Islamic Renaissance Party threatened to challenge result in court. 56 Tablighi Jamaat members sentenced to jail in Dushanbe and given large fines 10 March.

 

 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2010

Unchanged

President Rakhmon’s People’s Democratic Party won 55 of 63 parliament seats in 28 Feb elections denounced by western observers for failing to meet basic democratic standards. Coming second with 2 seats, largest opposition party Islamic Renaissance Party threatened to challenge result in court. 56 Tablighi Jamaat members sentenced to jail in Dushanbe and given large fines 10 March. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2010

Unchanged

Parliamentary elections held 28 Feb expected to yield victory for President Rakhmon’s People’s Democratic Party in vote denounced by opposition, OSCE observer mission as marred by serious irregularities. Campaign against alleged Islamists continued: suspected al-Qaeda member sentenced to 8 years in jail 9 Feb; 4 members of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) sentenced to 8-30 years in jail in northern Sogd region 14 Feb; 12 Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) activists received 8-14 year prison terms in Dushanbe 17 Feb.

 

 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2010

Unchanged

Tajik court 6 Jan sentenced Uzbek man to 20 years in prison for spying on country’s hydropower projects, in further sign of straining Tajik-Uzbek relations over construction of state Roghun hydropower plant, opposed by Uzbekistan over concerns of water shortages. Govt denied reports of public discontent over govt pressure to buy shares in Roghun power plant. 10 Hizb-ut-Tahrir members sentenced to 8-15 years in prison in Khujand 27 Jan. In perceived effort to silence media ahead of 28 Feb parliamentary elections, defamation lawsuits filed late Jan against 4 newspapers; libel verdict against another newspaper upheld.

 

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