Tajikistan. Immediately after the New Year, the Pamir
Mountains in eastern Tajikistan were hit by a severe
earthquake that left many people homeless in severe cold. As
winter passed in unusually sudden heat, large snowfalls
followed, which isolated tens of thousands of mountain
dwellers and demanded death victims. According to
Tajikistan has a population of 9.101 million (2018). The fall of the spring
then caused landslides with many casualties in hard-to-reach
The undemocratic regime retained its strong grip. When
the parliamentary elections were held in February, the
outcome was given. According to the official result, the
People's Democratic Party, which despite the name is a
political tool for President Emomali Rachmon, received 71
percent of the vote and 55 out of 63 seats in Parliament's
House of Commons. The Communist Party with 8.2 percent and
the Islamic Renewal Party with 7 percent had to settle for
two terms each.
The opposition pointed to many cases of electoral fraud
and was supported by election observers from the OSCE, who
stated that the election was not free and fair.
In the local elections held in parallel, the president's
son Rustam Emomali took a seat in the Dushanbe municipal
government. The 23-year-old elite football player with
expensive habits is considered to succeed his father. A
daughter of the president is Deputy Foreign Minister.
When 25 prisoners convicted of terrorist plans, murders
and coup attempts killed guards and managed to escape from a
prison in Dushanbe, the military went on offensive against
growing militant Islamists in the poor Rajasthan Valley.
There, the dissatisfaction with the regime is strong and
guerrilla leaders have remained there since the 1990s civil
war. People's dissatisfaction is partly due to a disputed
dam construction that threatens to put over 60 villages
under water. The military's offensive led to major losses in
battles with rebels backed by foreign mercenaries.
In September, a suicide attack was carried out against a
police station in the city of Chudzjand in the Fergana
Valley. Two police officers were killed and many injured.
According to the regime, Uzbekistan's Islamist movement
(IMU) was behind it. The movement has strengthened in recent
years and is considered to have ties to the al-Qaeda terror
network. The council was supposed to take revenge for the
regime seizing over a hundred opposition supporters and
opponents accused of belonging to illegal groups, mainly
Islamist. Shortly after the suicide bombing, a bomb exploded
at a nightclub in the capital, Dusjanbe, with injuries as a
In October, the regime hit about twenty underground
Islamic schools with about 190 pupils in the southern part
of the country. In November, the regime claimed that the
anti-terrorist campaign launched in September had been
successful and only a handful of opponents remained.
Three independent weekly magazines that reported on the
military offensive in Rasht Valley were prevented from
printing their newspapers during the fall. Several Western
ambassadors protested, and after a six-week break, a couple
of the magazines, Farazh and Nigoh, were able to come out