Report by Shodmon Mahmadulloyev, activist of the political movement “Group 24” , at the annual conference of the OSCE

Report by Shodmon Mahmadulloyev, activist of the Group of 24 political movement, at the annual conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE).

Today, September 29, 2022, Shodmon Mahmadulloyev, an activist of the Group of 24 political movement, spoke at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s annual conference on religious intolerance.

“In Tajikistan,” Shodmon Mahmadulloyev began his speech, “religious intolerance is very strong, but this is not a problem of public relations, but a problem of the state’s intolerance towards religious citizens. In other words, the government in words supports religion, but in fact persecutes believers. According to Shodmon Makhmadulloyev, in recent years, Tajikistan has passed laws aimed at tightly controlling religious associations and interfering with the personal lives of citizens, such as the laws “On freedom of conscience and religious associations” and “On the role of parents in raising children.” The International Commission on Religious Freedom of the United States of America annually includes Tajikistan in the list of countries that violate religious freedom, where the authorities regularly, constantly and grossly violate religious freedom. The Rakhmonov regime pursues a repressive policy towards public religiosity, all beliefs are persecuted. Authorities remove public trappings of religion, regulate funeral and wedding rites and harass bearded men and women wearing hijabs. At the official level, there is a campaign against women’s Islamic clothing. Women in hijabs are not only not allowed into state institutions and public places, but also regularly raided by law enforcement officers. As a result of such raids, women are morally insulted, fined and even prosecuted under various pretexts.

Then the speaker stressed that not only representatives of the Islamic religion are persecuted in Tajikistan, the authorities also show religious intolerance towards other religions. Many other religious organizations that had previously had the right to exist in Tajikistan were closed under the pretext of re-registration. For example, in 2008, a Tajik court banned the activities of the religious organization Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the country. The authorities consider the ideas of “Jehovah’s” extremist. In particular, the authorities do not like the fact that supporters of this denomination oppose military service.
The authoritarian regime decides instead of citizens what and who they should believe and whether they can believe at all.

Political movement “Group 24”