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CrisisWatch Database

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Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2016

Unchanged
Minister of justice faced strong criticism delivering Tajikistan human rights record 6 May at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva; representatives of Norway, Belgium, Australia and Austria expressed concerns over restrictions on mass media and prosecution and repression of Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). Closed court session 11 May sentenced five IRPT members to life term in prison. National referendum held 22 May on amendments to the constitution, including erasing limit of presidential terms, lowering age qualification for presidential candidates, parliamentary deputies, govt members and judges from 35 to 30, and ban on religion and nationality-based parties; Central Election Commission 23 May reported 92% turnout, 94.5% of voters supported proposed amendments. Ministry of internal affairs 6-9 May detained four Islamic State members allegedly planning terrorist attacks in Dushanbe 9 May.

Tajikistan

  |  2 May 2016

Unchanged
Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) members 21 April held four-day military exercise 30km from Dushanbe involving 1,500 troops reacting to simulated terrorist attack from Afghan-Tajik border. Prosecutor Rahmonov late March said 85% of reported 1,094 Tajik citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq were recruited while working in Russia, 400 from Khatlon province which borders Afghanistan. Two suspects arrested in Khatlon 31 march for allegedly plotting to blow up local interior ministry HQ.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged
Massive military exercise including 50,000 Tajik soldiers and reservists and 2,000 Russian soldiers conducted 15-19 March along length of Afghan border; followed 5 March skirmish between Tajik border guards and Taliban near Panj border post in which one Tajik soldier killed. Tajik border guards early March reportedly prevented infiltration of alleged armed group from Afghanistan near eastern city Khorog.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Russia’s Central Military Command chief late Jan said country’s 201st air base near Kulyab to be downgraded from division to brigade, allegedly to increase mobility. Supreme Court 9 Feb started hearings in trial of thirteen leading members of Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) accused of attempting overthrow govt Sept 2015. Lower house 10 Feb approved 22 May referendum date on constitutional amendment to allow President Rahmon to retain presidency beyond 2020 and decrease lower age limit. During fifth session of EU-Tajik Cooperation Council 16 Feb, EU confirmed $251mn development aid to Tajikistan until 2020. U.S. govt’s Counterterrorism Partnership Fund reportedly earmarked $50mn in assistance to Central Asia, named Tajikistan special partner. Human Rights Watch 17 Feb denounced crackdown on political opposition.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged
Parliament 11 Jan proposed changes to constitution paving way for President Rahmon to retain presidency beyond 2020, also decreasing lower age limit for presidency; would allow president’s son, Rustam Rahmon, currently head of customs service, to become president. President 27 Jan appointed daughter Ozoda chief of staff. Military sources 22 Jan reported border with Afghanistan to be reinforced with 1,000 extra troops. Interior minister 25 Jan told media 1,000 Tajik nationals have joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, 61 have returned, 148 killed in fighting.

Tajikistan

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Interior Minister 14 Dec reiterated claim that opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) funded renegade former Deputy Defence Minister Nazarzoda, killed by security forces in man-hunt mid-Sept. Exiled IRPT leader Mukhiddin Kabiri’s extended family in Tajikistan, including 95-year-old father, detained 15 Dec, released two days later. President Rahmon’s late Nov defence ministry reshuffle believed to be linked to doubts over loyalties of senior staff in wake of Nazarzoda affair. Seven men from Khatlon province sentenced 1 Dec to 27 years’ jail for raising black Islamic flag in district near Afghan border. Parliament 9 Dec approved draft law granting President Rahmon “Founder of Peace and Harmony: Leader of the Nation”, immunity from prosecution for life, right to veto decisions; president signed bill into law late Dec.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Authorities continued to link banned IRPT opposition party to former Deputy Defence Minister Abdulkhalim Nazarzoda, killed in a manhunt after shootouts in Dushanbe early Sept; IRPT denied allegations of links to attacks. Ten associates of former Emergencies Minister Mirzo Ziyoyev, killed by govt forces 2009, arrested 9 Nov after detained followers of Nazarzoda claimed they were jointly plotting to overthrow govt; Ziyoyev and Nazarzoda were commanders in United Tajik Opposition during Tajik civil war. Russian military spokesman 19 Nov said movement of Russian regiment stationed in Tajikistan from near Afghan border to near capital as intended to raise combat capacity and readiness. Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Border Services chief 12 Nov said 4,500 Islamic militants currently on CIS’s border, measures being taken to secure border. Former IRPT official sentenced 30 Nov to nine years’ jail on charges of terrorism, religious extremism.

Tajikistan

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Amid increasing anxiety over impact of fighting in Afghanistan on Central Asian security, Russia and Tajikistan presidents met 6 Oct to discuss fighting along Tajikistan-Afghan border. Russia announced it would place transport and attack helicopters at Tajikistan’s Ayni airfield near capital Dushanbe. Govt 12 Oct announced civil servants prohibited from attending Friday prayers, amid ongoing crackdown on political opposition and on religious expression.UNHCHR 2 Oct expressed concern over govt’s Sept ban of opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2015

Deteriorated
Deepening concerns over political stability after General Abdukhalim Nazarzoda, former deputy defence minister and previously member of United Tajik Opposition which signed peace agreement in 1997 following civil war, killed amid accusations of planned coup. Unknown assailants 4 Sept opened fire at police station in Vakhdat town and police patrols near Dushanbe leaving at least 22 dead, including eight police. Govt said attacks ordered by Nazarzoda, accused him of planning coup. Attacks followed by clashes between assailants and police near Dushanbe airport; Nazarzoda reportedly fled to Romit Gorge region with unspecified number of supporters, most of whom killed in series of skirmishes. Security forces 16 Sept announced Nazarzoda killed in search operation. Govt said Nazarzoda was member of Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan’s (IRPT) which was banned late Aug amid opposition crackdown; IRPT denied. Thirteen IRPT members arrested 16-17 Sept, govt 29 Sept declared IRPT terrorist organisation. Collective Security Treaty Organisation summit in Dunshabe 15 Sept discussed security threats related to Islamic State, security of Tajik-Afghan border; Moscow reportedly said it will provide further military support on border if necessary or requested.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

President Rahmon 8 Aug signed new law depriving Tajiks of citizenship for joining/fighting for terrorist organisations abroad. Opposition crackdown continued: Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan’s (IRPT) publishing house closed 13 Aug for not meeting national “sanitary-epidemiological norms”; IRPT claimed targeted campaign against them. Justice ministry 28 Aug banned IRPT, citing insufficient number of members to qualify as officially registered party; gave party ten days to halt activities. Deputy leader of opposition in exile detained in Moldova 11 Aug on Tajik govt request. Afghan authorities apologised after two mortar shells launched in Afghanistan 13 Aug fell in Khatlon province in SW of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Authorities reported they arrested two men planning terrorist attacks. Russia late June supplied 120 armoured vehicles specialised for mountainous terrain to 201st Russian military base; began training 1,000 Tajik soldiers.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

New video released 19 June featuring former special forces (OMON) commander Gulmurod Khalimov, whose defection to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) was reported late May, reiterating threats to bring jihad to Tajikistan; govt blocked several websites in response. Joint military exercises continued: OMON held joint anti-terrorist exercises with Chinese special police units 5 June. Dozens of Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) members resigned during month; IRP blamed increase in harassment, including from pro-govt newspaper linking IRP to terrorism; IRP’s political council 10 June warned leader Mukhiddin Kabiri to remain in Europe for fear of arrest in Tajikistan. Russian Central Bank reported 44% drop in remittances to Tajikistan in first quarter of 2015. 

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

Former special forces (OMON) commander Gulmurod Khalimov, who disappeared 23 April, featured in Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) video 27 May saying he had joined group, criticising govt and threatening to bring jihad to Tajikistan. Amid growing concerns about intensified Taliban fighting in N Afghanistan near Tajik border, Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) sent 2,500 Rapid Reaction Force troops to border area for exercises 12-20 May. Court late April jailed ten alleged members of banned Islamic group in Sughd region.

Tajikistan

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Amid heightened concerns over extremism, govt 13 April announced ban on citizens under 35 undertaking hajjpilgrimage to Mecca; followed 27 March call by imams, encouraged by govt, to dissolve Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan. During Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) meeting in Dushanbe 2 April to discuss threat from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) in Afghanistan, FM Sirojiddin Aslov expressed dissatisfaction over existing attempts to strengthen Tajik-Afghan border, called on CSTO to provide more practical measures. Russian daily Kommersant 3 April reported Russia planning $1.23bn in military-technical assistance to Tajikistan. Russian defence minister 16 April reiterated support for Tajikistan against IS, threats from Afghanistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

President Rahmon’s party 1 March won parliamentary elections which OSCE said “failed to meet basic democratic standards”. Atmosphere of harassment against opposition intensified: alleged Group 24 opposition party member sentenced to 17.5 years’ jail 4 March; Group 24 leader Umarali Kuvatov murdered 5 March in Istanbul; two men jailed for 16.5 years 13 March for having offensive pictures of president, attending Group 24 meeting. President’s son Rustam appointed head of anti-corruption agency 16 March. Large scale military exercises held along Afghan border 11-14 March; Russian news agency 18 March claimed 1,000 militants, including Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Islamic State supporters, only 60-80km from Tajik border.

Tajikistan

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Deputy head of State Committee for National Security said Pakistan early Feb handed over six Tajik citizens alleged to be Jamaat Ansarullah members. Supreme Court 17 Feb sentenced thirteen alleged Jamaat Ansarullah members to jail.

Tajikistan

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Tajik citizens fighting for Islamic State in Syria released video 4 Jan threatening Tajikistan with jihad. Ten suspected members of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan arrested 7 Jan near Dushanbe with alleged cell leader. New army base to monitor militants near Afghan border reportedly being built in Kulyob district. Two border guards wounded 18 Jan while preventing armed group crossing over Afghan border.

Tajikistan

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Four Tajik border guards taken hostage 21 Dec by Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, where they were reportedly collecting firewood. President Rahmon mid-Dec expressing increasing concern about Islamic State (IS) recruitment among young Tajiks; reportedly called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) “modern plague”. 46 men arrested in Sughd province on suspicion of joining IS. Tajikistan 23 Dec assumed presidency of Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Authorities 12 Nov arrested twelve men in Sughd province, charged with organising criminal group, recruiting for IS. National Security Committee reported 300 Tajik citizens fighting alongside IS in Syria.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Govt early Oct blocked websites, disabled SMS-messaging, deployed armoured vehicles to city gates ahead of planned opposition protest in Dushanbe 10 Oct; Supreme Court 9 Oct declared organiser “Group-24” extremist group. Interior Ministry spokesperson 18 Oct announced 13 Islamists returning from Syria detained for planned terror attack. High-ranking border officer arrested 22 Oct on drug trafficking accusations.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

President Rahmon 18 Sept said 200 Tajik jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq. Regional Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) Sec Gen Bordyuzha 17 Sept said spillover from Afghanistan serious regional problem; Tajik-Afghan border remains very porous. Two Uzbeks arrested June sentenced 26 Sept to 9 years imprisonment for fighting alongside Taliban in Afghanistan. Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Emomali Rahmon early Sept launched Iran-funded Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant. Fatwa issued 27 Sept by Tajik mufti against govt critics.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Minister for Internal Affairs 11 Aug said Syria-trained jihadists pose threat; some 200 Tajiks reportedly fighting in Syria. Crackdown continued, including by using 26 July law criminalising recruitment and participation of citizens in armed conflicts; at least 88 detained on terrorism charges since beginning of year including 7 ethnic Uzbek Tajik citizens sentenced 12 Aug to 18 to 22 years jail for allegedly plotting terrorist attack against TALCO aluminium plant. Local media 9 Aug reported Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) planning return to Ferghana Valley from Waziristan, Pakistan.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Alexander Sodikov, Tajik national resident in Canada, arrested 16 June on spying accusations, released 22 July, asked to remain in Dushanbe while investigation continues. Opposition leader from Gorno-Badakhshan province, Saodatsho Adolatov, sentenced 30 July to 5 years jail for inciting hatred.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Canadian resident Alexander Sodikov arrested 16 June, accused of espionage after meeting with opposition leader Alim Sherzamonov in Khorog to discuss civil society role in Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Province; EU 27 June released statement expressing concerns, urging Tajik govt to provide information on arrest. British ambassador early June attempted to meet Sherzamonov in Khorog; authorities insisted he leave, citing firefight on Tajik-Afghan border.

Tajikistan

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Tajik authorities continued crackdown on local networks sending citizens to fight in Syria; bill adopted mid-May to allow prosecution of Tajiks for taking part in military conflicts abroad. 3 killed in clashes in Khorog, Gorno-Badakhshan region, following police offensive against suspected criminals 21 May; protesters 24 May attacked security forces building, 1 killed; civil society and authorities 25 May agreed to investigation.

Tajikistan

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers met in Dushanbe 1 April, discussed Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, military-technological cooperation and joint anti-terrorism military exercise to be held in China. Deputy head of U.S. Special Operations Command Central same day met with high-ranking officials, discussed bilateral security cooperation. During visit to Kabul President Rahmon 26 March signed cooperation agreements with Afghanistan including on customs, transport. In 23 April annual address president stated political and economic ties with Russia a priority; vowed to continue construction of Roghun Dam, opposed by Uzbekistan. Security services said they prevented terrorist act against aluminium plant in Tursunzade early April.

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.

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