The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion
The right to join together and express one’s belief
26 February 2018
TAJIKISTAN: Almost 2,000 mosques closed in 2017
Tajikistan has claimed to have closed almost 2,000 mosques in 2017. Officials claimed they were closed at the request of local residents, but have not been able to explain why they only allow mosques with a capacity far below the possible numbers of worshippers.
19 February 2018
TAJIKISTAN: Amendments impose even tighter state control
Religion Law amendments allow the state to restrict freedom of religion or belief on illegitimate grounds, increase religious communities' reporting obligations, require state approval for all imams, and increase state control on religious education. "The Law represents total control and is unjust", human rights defender Faizinisso Vokhidova stated.
5 December 2017
TAJIKISTAN: "Mistakes", but prisoner of conscience remains jailed
Despite "mistakes" in the verdict jailing Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector Daniil Islamov for six months, the Supreme Court failed to overturn it. Jailed Protestant Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov has chosen not to appeal further. Police and secret police raided a Protestant church's worship and fined a church member.
4 December 2017
TAJIKISTAN: Nine long jail terms – for what?
At least nine Muslim men – including an imam and a well-known heart surgeon - are known to have been jailed as prisoners of conscience since August in the northern Sugd Region in three separate cases. All received five years or more jail terms. Officials refused to explain what they had done wrong.
20 October 2017
TAJIKISTAN: One more prisoner of conscience
Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector to military service Daniil Islamov has been jailed for six months. And the government has imposed highly intrusive Mourning Regulations ordering among other things: "Crying while grieving for the dead is allowed. But crying and wailing loudly .. is forbidden".
12 September 2017
TAJIKISTAN: Id al-Adha restrictions, haj returnee celebrations banned
Teachers were banned from attending mosque on Muslim festival Id al-Adha. They and children were forced to attend school, even though the state declared it a holiday. Officials banned haj pilgrimage returnees from holding celebratory meals. Traditions Law amendments and increased punishments have come into force.
31 August 2017
TAJIKISTAN: Conscientious objector's military trial imminent
18-year-old Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector Daniil Islamov faces up to two years' imprisonment if convicted at Qurghonteppa Military Court. Forcibly conscripted in April, he has been detained in a military unit. Protestant Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov lost his appeal against his three-year prison term.
2 August 2017
TAJIKISTAN: Fines, questioning, threats for wearing hijab
Officials this spring launched a massive renewed campaign against women wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf). Victims and human rights defenders complain that women have been questioned, threatened and fined, as have some husbands. Some have lost their jobs or been forced to leave school.
20 July 2017
TAJIKISTAN: Protestant Pastor jailed for three years
Protestant Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov has been jailed for three years for allegedly "singing extremist songs in church and so inciting 'religious hatred'". Tajikistan has threatened family members, friends, and church members with reprisals if they reveal any details of the case, trial, or jailing.
29 June 2017
TAJIKISTAN: Trial imminent for arrested Pastor
The secret police's criminal case against Protestant Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov reached court in Khujand on 22 June. Officials refuse to say what charges he faces. Officials threaten Baptists in Dushanbe with fines after raiding their worship. Officials again enforce the haj ban on under-40s.
28 April 2017
TAJIKISTAN: "Extremism" prison term for Christian books?
The NSC secret police in Khujand arrested Protestant pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov on 10 April after raiding his church and seizing Christian literature. Officials claim songbooks and a book "More Than a Carpenter" are "extremist". The pastor is being investigated on "extremism" criminal charges.
6 September 2016
TAJIKISTAN: Last madrassahs finally closed
Of the 19 madrassahs for 16 to 18 year old Muslims that functioned with state approval before the harsh 2009 Religion Law, all have now been closed. The five remaining madrassahs in Sugd Region – suspended in 2013 – were finally closed, as was the Islamic University's madrassah in Dushanbe.