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Video: 'Oblava'. Illegal and Forced Recruitment in Tajikistan

 This is a repost, with thanks to Global Voices

As Tajikistan's military faces a struggle to get enough volunteer conscripts, recruitment officers often rely on illegal practices in drafting military-age men into the army. One of the most common among such practices is “oblava” which involves “military press gangs making sweeps of city streets, bazaars and bus stations, rounding up young men who meet the desired criteria [to serve their compulsory two-year-long service]“.

Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Tajikistan, adopted by the Committee at its 108th session (8–26 July 2013)


21. The Committee reiterates its previous concern (CCPR/CO/84/TJK, para 20) about the State party’s lack of recognition of the right to conscientious objection to compulsory military service, and at the absence of alternatives to military service (art. 18).

Tajikistan: NGO that investigates abuses in conscription shut down

The Young Lawyers Association “Amparo”, who document press-ganging in Tajikistan and has provided thousands of families pro bono legal advice has been ordered to close by the Tajik court.

The court cited a variety of technical violations of its operating license, including moving offices without duly notifying authorities, engaging in unauthorized training sessions involving high school students and operating an improperly registered website. The ruling came after the Tajik Justice Ministry filed a motion to shut down the Association.

Tajikistan Blocks NGO from Investigating Press Gangs

Informed observers in Tajikistan are continuing to tell that this week’s shuttering of a prominent human rights group had nothing to do with its alleged technical violations (moving its office without reporting to authorities, publishing its findings on a website) and everything to do with its persistent investigation into abuses of military conscripts.

Autumn conscription campaign starts in Tajikistan on October 1

DUSHANBE, September 28, 2012, Asia-Plus -- On September 22, President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree on drafting young Tajiks into the country’s armed forces from October through November 2012, the president’s official website reports.

The draft affects able-bodied male citizens in the age bracket of 18 years old to 27 years old, who are not members of the armed forces reserve. The same decree provides for the retirement from active duty of soldiers and sergeants whose service under conscription is over.

The Next Arms Race?

October 15, 2009

An arms race may be fermenting in Central Asia. The region’s ethnic diversity coupled with its fierce nationalism is providing fertile ground for competitive militarization. Weapon purchases are on the rise and standing armies are being bolstered. Take for example Kyrgyzstan. Last December the Kyrgyz government passed a singularly aggressive draft bill. According to First Lieutenant Ivan Mikhailov the measure is expected to bolster the current 12,500 troops with an additional 6,000 in the mobile reserve and 20,000 in the alternative service this year alone. The active call up began October 1st and is obligatory for all Kyrgyz men 18 and over.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir - Addendum: MISSION TO TAJIKISTAN*

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir




H. Conscientious objection

Observations finales du Comité des droits de l’homme: Tadjikistan

18 juillet 2005


20. Le Comité est préoccupé par le fait que l’État partie ne reconnaît pas le droit à l’objection de conscience au service militaire obligatoire (art. 18).

L’État partie devrait prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour reconnaître le droit des objecteurs de conscience d’être exemptés du service militaire.


À la poursuite de l'or noir caspien... À quel prix ?

Lindsay Barnes

L'intérêt international pour les États riches en ressources de l'ex-URSS, au Caucase et en Asie centrale, s'est révélé lors de la dernière décennie. Pourquoi le pétrole et le gaz caspiens sont-ils devenus si important aux yeux du marché mondial de l'énergie ? Quelles sont les conséquences pour les habitants de la région qui peinent à faire naître des démocraties ?

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