State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009 - Tajikistan
|Publisher||Minority Rights Group International|
|Publication Date||16 July 2009|
|Cite as||Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009 - Tajikistan, 16 July 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a66d9a4c.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In Tajikistan, a restrictive draft law on religion that would allow authorities to exert significant control over Islam and place Christian beliefs outside the legal framework, has been under consideration. It would require religious organizations to re-register or lose legal status. The deliberations on the new law took place in the light of the ban on Jehovah's Witnesses, who were prohibited from operating in Tajikistan. A military court in Dushanbe ruled that the group had acted illegally by importing religious literature and that this was the latest in a series of offences, warranting an official ban.
Unlike the other Central Asian states, in Tajikistan the hijab ban is official. As a result, many girls have dropped out of school in the Garm valley of eastern Tajikistan, where Islam has traditionally had a strong hold.
In the Spitamen and Ghonchi districts, where Tajik citizens constitute a minority, more than 1,000 residents have been told they must decide whether they want to be Tajik or Uzbek nationals, and that if they choose the latter, they may have to leave. Ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks live on both sides of the border, following an exchange of territory between the two republics more than half a century ago.