Human rights in Tajikistan, a country in Central Asia, have become an issue of international concern. The access to basic human rights remains limited, with corruption in the government and the systematic abuse of the human rights of its citizens slowing down the progress of democratic and social reform in the country.

According to a report from the United States Department of State on human rights in Tajikistan, citizens are denied many of their rights and have limited ability to change the system of government. The report found this to be especially true in the case of prisoners, whose access to basic Human Rights was inadequate: there have been reports of torture, threats, and abuse of prisoners and detainees by security forces due, in part, to their ability to act with impunity.[1] The denial of the right to a fair trial for those who stand accused of a crime has been identified as another issue, which can often contribute to harsh and life-threatening prison conditions as well as the blocking of international access to Tajikistan prisons. Pre-trial detention is typically longer than needed, and court proceeding are controlled by the prosecution. Prisons are overcrowded, and the incidence of tuberculosis and malnutrition is high among inmates.

Other restrictions include restrictions on media, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of worship, as well as restrictions on political opposition. Registration and visa difficulties, violence and discrimination against women, human trafficking, and child labour have also been reported.[2] Tajikistan is also reported to be both a source and a transit point for human trafficking.[3]

Intimidation and killings of journalists

It has been reported that, in the 1990s, dozens of journalists were killed or disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Tajikistan. Together with increasing attacks on journalists, the 2005 parliamentary elections brought increased closures of independent and opposition newspapers. 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.[4]

Name change law

According to Ilan Greenberg, writing in the New York Times in 2007,[5] The President of Tajikistan Emomalii Rahmon, stated that the Slavic "-ov" ending must be dropped for all babies born to Tajik parents. The policy came about in the wake of recent policies intended to remove vestiges of Russian influence on the country. In light of this, some Tajiks have expressed confusion or opposition at the denial of the freedom to choose the name for one's child.

Freedom of religion

Main article: Freedom of religion in Tajikistan

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 religious groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses have suffered occasional persecution: since October 22, 2007, Jehovah's Witnesses have had their practices banned by the government.[6]

Allegations of systematic violence against military conscripts

In June 2014 Global Voices Online reported that the practice of systematic violence against military conscripts (referred to as dedovshina) had 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 Davlatov, who was beaten to death by his lance sergeant.[7][8] Kidnapping of recruits was said to be a common practice in Tajikistan and victims have sometimes videotaped their own kidnappings.[9][7]

Examples of human rights violations

Within the country of Tajikistan, human rights violations have been a regular occurrence among the locals due to the refusal of rights from the government. These rights include religious rights, women's rights, journalists' rights, political rights and many more; these were established not only by the United Nations but the constitution of Tajikistan.[10] When the country of Tajikistan became an independent nation after being under the control of the Soviet Union, a constitution was established in 1994. Chapter 2, Articles 14 to 47 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan is titled "Rights, Liberties, [and] Basic Duties of Individuals and Citizens".[10] This chapter of the constitution states basic rights for the people of Tajikistan such as the rights to life and judicial protection. There have been many instances where the Government of Tajikistan has not upheld this constitution.

During 2016, human rights within Tajikistan were frequently violated, including imprisonment of opposition party members and leaders and persecution of human rights lawyers. Modification of the constitution by President Emomali Rahmon paved the way for him to reign over the country until his eventual death. The government of Tajikistan has made multiple arrests of activists within other nations that oppose government policies and ‘corruption’.[11] In the year 2013, the Tajik government passed a law stating that torture while in custody was considered illegal, yet a UN report shows that these acts still occur. Men continue to violate the constitution by participating in physical, mental and sexual abuse against women. This has affected about a third of the women living in Tajikistan.[12]

Tajikistan continues to struggle with human rights. High rates of unemployment, poverty, and crime contribute to this ongoing problem.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Tajikistan". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  2. ^ "Human Rights Reports: Tajikistan". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  3. ^ "Rise in Human Trafficking in Tajikistan". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  4. ^ "YouTube Partially Blocked In Tajikistan". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  5. ^ Greenberg, Ilan (2007-03-28). "Tajik President Outlaws Slavic Endings on Names". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  6. ^ "Jehovah's Witnesses: Office of Public Information Authorized Site". Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
  7. ^ a b "Some Young Soldiers in Tajikistan's Army Are Being Hazed to Death · Global Voices". Global Voices. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  8. ^ "Дело о «поперхнувшемся хлебом» солдате направлено в суд". Радио Озоди (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  9. ^ "YouTube video". Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  10. ^ a b Inakhiya, Govind Kumar (2015). "Human Rights At Jeopardy THE CENTRAL ASIAN CONTEXT" (PDF). The Journal of Central Asian Studies. XXII: 99–108.
  11. ^ a b "Tajikistan Events of 2016".
  12. ^ "Tajikistan Human Rights". Amnesty International. 2013.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website