Tajikistan. At the beginning of the year, Tajikistan was
hit by a tragedy when thirteen children perished in a fire
in a home for mentally challenged children in the capital,
Dushanbe. The children were asleep when the old wooden
building caught fire.
CountryAAH, authorities announced in January that during the previous
year, hundreds of members of the banned Hizb ut-Tahir
Islamic movement had been arrested. Nearly forty of those
arrested had been sentenced to imprisonment for up to twelve
years and the others were held in custody pending trial.
Authorities began in March to demolish the area where
Tajikistan's last Jewish synagogue has been around for a
long time. The site would be cleared for the construction of
a new presidential complex in Dushanbe. The small group of
poor and elderly Jews said they did not receive adequate
compensation from the authorities. Jews have lived in
Tajikistan for many centuries, but after the Soviet era,
their numbers have decreased.
In August, the Islamic renewal party's longtime leader
Said Abdullah Nuri passed away, which led to the party not
running in the November presidential election. Nor did the
other major opposition parties take part in the election,
which according to the official result was won by President
Imomali Rachmonov with 79% of the vote. According to the
OSCE, the election was not fair and no real alternatives
were missing. But after fourteen years in power, Rachmonov
was able to begin a new seven-year term as president.