The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Tajikistan

By Vexen Crabtree 2019

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tajikistan #tolerance

Tajikistan
Republic of Tajikistan

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index107th best
CapitalDushanbe
Land Area 139 960km21
LocationAsia
Population9.1m2
Life Expectancy69.58yrs (2017)3
GNI$2 601 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesTJ, TJK, 7625
Internet Domain.tj6
CurrencySomoni (TJS)7
Telephone+9928

Tajikistan is generally poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world. Tajikistan does better than average in terms of opposing gender inequality9 and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights10. But that's it. Tajikistan has problems. It does worse than average when it comes to commentary in Human Rights Watch reports11, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms12 (still low for Asia), LGBT equality13, speed of uptake of HR treaties14 and in supporting press freedom15. Persecution of critics and opposition politicians continues16 and human rights defenders are harassed - 7 human rights lawyers have been arrested or imprisoned since 201416.


1. Tajikistan's Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)17,18
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank17,18
1Denmark9.7
2Sweden10.0
3Norway16.1
...
84Trinidad & Tobago83.9
85Burkina Faso85.1
86Moldova85.4
87Tajikistan85.7
88Mali87.0
89Ghana87.3
90Andorra87.4
91Tunisia88.3
92China88.7
World Avg89.8
q=199.

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Denmark, Sweden and Norway17. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are Tuvalu, The Solomon Islands and Palestine17.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice and LGBT equality. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe17, whereas the worst are Micronesia, Melanesia and Australasia17.

2. Human Rights & Tolerance Data Sets

Tajikistan´s human rights record worsened further in 2017, as authorities deepened a severe, widespread crackdown on free expression and association, peaceful political opposition activity, the independent legal profession, and the independent exercise of religious faith.

Well over 150 political activists, including a number of lawyers and journalists, remain unjustly jailed, and the relatives of dissidents who peacefully criticize the government from outside the country are subjected to violent retaliation orchestrated by authorities, including arbitrary detention, threats of rape, confiscation of passports and property, and vigilante justice at the hands of sometimes-violent mobs.

Torture remains a serious concern.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments

#human_rights

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)11
Pos.Higher is better
Score11
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
84Bahrain-5
85Venezuela-5
86Oman-5
87Tajikistan-5
88Lebanon-5
89Mali-5
90Israel-5
91UAE-6
World Avg-1.9
q=123.

Human Rights Watch comments concentrate mostly on negative issues, however, they also make positive comments for those countries that engage in human rights defence around the world, or who make improvements at home. By adding up positive and negative comments (including double-points for negatives that involve large scales and crimes against humanity), the Social and Moral Index turns HRW commentary into quantified values. Some countries may be unfairly penalized because HRW have not examined them, and, some countries "get away" with abuses if they manage to hide it, or if it goes unnoticed - a negative point has been given for those countries in which HRW specifically state that access to investigators has been barred. The points were limited to a minimum of -10 because there are some points at which things are so bad, with abuses affecting so many, it is difficult to be more specific about the depths of the issues.

2.2. Nominal Commitment to HR

#human_rights

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)10
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties10
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
85Togo16
86Belarus16
87Seychelles16
88Tajikistan16
89Ghana16
90Belize16
91Monaco16
92Latvia16
World Avg15.1
q=194.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.3. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag (2019)14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Yrs/Treaty14
1Ecuador2.15
2Uruguay2.25
3Tunisia3.65
...
108Armenia11.00
109Lithuania11.03
110Mozambique11.04
111Tajikistan11.08
112Ethiopia11.13
113Slovenia11.13
114Dominica11.14
115Benin11.15
World Avg10.02
q=195.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)12
Pos.Lower is better
Rank12
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
80Bhutan79
81Benin79
82Brazil82
83Tajikistan83
84Nepal84
85Barbados85
86Rwanda85
87India87
World Avg79.7
q=159.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)19

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom (2013)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
119Cameroon3478
120Chad3487
121Brunei3545
122Tajikistan3571
123S. Sudan3620
124Algeria3654
125Ukraine3679
126Honduras3692
World Avg3249
q=178.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted".

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

Over the past year, at least 20 journalists have fled the country, fearing persecution for their professional activities. Journalists perceived to be critical of the government are subjected to harassment and intimidation. As a cult of personality around President Rahmon has risen, journalists are subjected to ever stricter provisions regarding the way they must refer to him and his family. As of April 2017, a new law mandates that all media must refer to Rahmon as “The Founderof Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Emomali Rahmon.”

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16

2.6. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Slavery (2018)20
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims20
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
90Azerbaijan0.45
91Bulgaria0.45
92Burkina Faso0.45
93Tajikistan0.45
94Indonesia0.47
95Ghana0.48
96Iraq0.48
97Gabon0.48
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends22. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery25. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity26. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi20, Eritrea20, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

3. Gender Equality Data Sets

Tajikistan has made some steps towards ending gender inequality but much more needs to be done.

See:

3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality (2015)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
63Costa Rica0.31
64Maldives0.31
65Chile0.32
66Tajikistan0.32
67Trinidad & Tobago0.32
68Azerbaijan0.33
69Turkey0.33
70Kuwait0.33
World Avg0.36
q=159.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

3.2. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Pos.Lower is better
Year
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
26Armenia1921
27Georgia1921
28Ireland1922
29Tajikistan1924
30Mongolia1924
31St Lucia1924
32Turkmenistan1927
33UK1928
World Avg1930
q=189.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

4. Prejudice Data Sets

4.1. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)13
Pos.Higher is better
Score13
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
106China12
107Djibouti11
108Mali11
109Tajikistan11
110Gabon10
111Bahamas10
112Kazakhstan8
113N. Korea8
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence30. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws31. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries30. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#islam #tajikistan

Religion seems to be tightly controlled in TajikIstan, but it is Islam in particular that been made the subject to prejudiced and draconian legislation, combined with some harassment of those perceived to be Muslims16. A book-registration and blacklisting scheme is being used to limit the import of religious books16. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom designates Tajikistan as a "country of particular concern" with respect to religious freedom16.

In August, continuing a multi-year campaign of strict control of religious practices, authorities introduced a new law urging citizens to "stick to traditional and national dress." While carrying no penalties, the law appears to specifically discourage women from wearing the Islamic hijab. ... Authorities installed surveillance cameras in numerous mosques and subjected men wearing long beards to harassment and intimidation, in some cases forcibly shaving their beards. [...]

Tajikistan´s Culture Ministry announced [in 2017] that books may not be brought into or taken out of the country without written approval, regardless of the language of the texts. Travelers are required to fill out an application “citing the name of the books, stating their language, the place of publication (and) the name of the authors…” Tajikistan´s State Religious Affairs Committee and Interior Ministry have compiled a blacklist of banned books, most religious in nature, but also including books of spells.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)16