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Tajikistan is tightly controlled by President Emomali Rahmon and a complex system of patronage and political repression are the hallmarks of his rule. The government’s elimination of moderate Islamic opposition risks creating an opening for violent jihadists and the country faces growing instability along its southern border with conflict-plagued Afghanistan. Through field research, analytical reports and advocacy, Crisis Group aims to mitigate Tajikistan’s internal and external threats and inform national and regional stakeholders about the risk of political instability and radicalisation in the face of government policies.

CrisisWatch Tajikistan

Unchanged Situation

Authorities accused of limiting space for govt critics and monitors, while court sentenced seven Tajik citizens for Nov 2019 Islamic State deadly attack. Court in capital Dushanbe 14 July sentenced seven Tajik citizens to prison terms of up to 27 years for deadly Nov 2019 Islamic State attack on Tajik border post south west of Dushanbe that killed two security personnel and fifteen militants. After authorities 25 June detained without charge Asroriddin Rozikov, son of imprisoned senior member of banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, NGO Human Rights Watch 9 July condemned “arbitrary” detention as “part of intensified efforts by Tajik authorities to spread fear among perceived govt critics and peaceful dissidents everywhere”. Austrian Supreme Court early July retrospectively invalidated extradition of Tajik activist Hizbullo Shovalizoda in March; Shovalizoda, now in Tajikistan, was 10 June sentenced to 20 years in prison on extremism charges. Govt mid-July rejected mandate extension of two leading Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe officials; UN special rapporteur for freedom of speech 10 July condemned govt’s decision as effort “to shield themselves from well-deserved criticism and monitoring”. Govt 29 July said it will provide one-time financial allowance ($40) for 488,000 people with social and financial needs to help alleviate impact of COVID-19.

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Report / Europe & Central Asia

Water Pressures in Central Asia

Growing tensions in the Ferghana Valley are exacerbated by disputes over shared water resources. To address this, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan urgently need to step back from using water or energy as a coercive tool and focus on reaching a series of modest, bilateral agreements, pending comprehensive resolution of this serious problem.

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