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Tajikistan Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Tajikistan Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Key Findings

The government of Tajikistan suppresses religious activity independent of state control, particularly of Muslims, Protestants, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and imprisons individuals on unfounded criminal allegations due to their Muslim identity. In 2016, there were mass raids and arrests of alleged Salafi Muslims across the country. In 2015, a Tajik court banned as “extremist” the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), whose legal status was part of the country’s postcivil war peace treaty; since then, 150 IRPT members have been imprisoned, and 13 were sentenced to prison terms in June 2016, including two IRPT leaders who were jailed for life. Jehovah’s Witnesses remain banned. Based on these concerns, as it has since 2012, USCIRF again finds in 2017 that Tajikistan merits designation as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). The State Department designated Tajikistan as a CPC for the first time in February 2016 and did so again in October 2016.

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