After independence in 1991, Tajikistan suffered a fatal
civil war (1992-93) which radically deteriorated social
conditions. In particular, Gorno-Badachshan, which was in
principle isolated, was affected, and only occasional relief
services with supplies were reached. Nearly 50,000 people
were killed in the war and at least 700,000, one-third of
the population, were forced into exile to the Russian
Federation, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, among others. In
June 1997, a peace agreement was concluded, but only in the
early 2000s could talk of normalization, even if political
violence still exists. Many refugees have returned. Most of
those who left the country were most educated.
Tajikistan is the least developed country in Central
Asia. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of TJK and acronym for Tajikistan. The country is in deep poverty: about 25 percent of
the population is estimated to live in poverty (below US $ 2
/ day), and unemployment is just over 11 percent (2012).
Health care has been depleted, and growing drug trafficking
has contributed to further social problems. The country
receives assistance from a number of foreign donors
including the United States.
As inspiration for Denmark, in January 2016, the
authorities conducted an «anti-radicalization campaign».
Police in the Khatlon region shaved the beard of approx.
13,000 men and closed 160 stores selling hijabs. Beard and
hijab were declared "incompatible with Tajikistan's secular
At least 170 people were tried in 2016 and sentenced to
prison for their alleged participation in armed clashes
between government forces and armed groups in Dushanbe in
September 2015. Clashes made by the authorities as a coup
attempt led by former Defense Minister Abdukhalim Nazarzoda.
A referendum in May 2016, with 96.6% of the vote, passed
a series of far-reaching amendments to the constitution. The
changes removed the restrictions on how many times a
president could be elected to office. President Rahmon could
therefore stand for a new term in 2020. At the same time,
parties based on faith (ie Islam) or nationality were
banned. The ban on Tajikistan's Islamic Renaissance Party 9
months earlier thus also had a legal basis to stand on.
In November, it was made criminal to "offend the leader
of the nation".
The EU and the US continued their practice of not
criticizing the situation in the country.