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

Watchdog painted grim picture of media freedom in Tajikistan, and Türkiye’s foreign minister hinted at possible border deal between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan during working visit. 

Watchdog warned of intensified media crackdown since 2022. Committee to Protect Journalists 4 Jan warned in its annual report that Tajikistan’s media “are in their worst state since the violent years of the civil war” of 1992-1997. Watchdog said series of harsh sentences handed down to seven journalists in 2022 and 2023 marked “a deeply chilling escalation in the years-long constriction of independent media”, with several journalists reportedly linking crackdown to suppression of May-June 2022 protests in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. 

Türkiye’s FM hinted at imminent border deal between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. President Rahmon and FM Muhriddin 10 Jan met with Türkiye’s FM Hakan Fidan in capital Dushanbe to discuss bilateral ties, with sides reportedly stressing need to boost cooperation “in all areas of mutual interest”. Speaking with reporters after meeting, Fidan also hinted that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan could sign border deal in March 2024, but offered few details.

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