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.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Tajikistan include Independence Day (September 9) and New Year (January 1). 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.
General information about Tajikistan
Tajikistan is the smallest of the former Soviet Union and Central Asian states. The high mountain ranges, the Pamir and the Altai, run through the land. Many rivers start from the mountains and the water from these has been used to irrigate cotton fields and produce hydropower. 93% of Tajikistan is mountainous and more than half of the country is located at an altitude of more than three kilometers. Some of the mountain areas are isolated from the rest of the country for much of the year.
The mountains are home to large mammals, including bears, jackals and snow leopards. Tajikistan has several nature parks and other protected areas, Pamir National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The capital, Dushanbe, has many extensive parks and streets lined with tree lines. Public buildings are magnificent, there are also many new buildings.