Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tajikistan: Muslim women face fines, questioning, threats for wearing hijab


Women wearing the hijab were punished with fines and in some cases their husbands were questioned and held in police custody. Other women were threatened with punishments unless they stop wearing the hijab, while some were forced to take it off in public places.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: Forum 18
By Mushfig Bayram | August 2, 2017

Officials this spring launched a massive renewed campaign against women wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf). Victims and human rights defenders complain that women have been questioned, threatened and fined, as have some husbands. Some have lost their jobs or been forced to leave school.

Since late spring, the authorities - particularly in the capital Dushanbe and Khujand, central City of the northern Sogd Region - have been carrying out a massive renewed campaign against women wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf).

Working groups - which included Police, employees of the State Committee for Women and Family Affairs, and officials of the State Committee for Religious Affairs (SCRA) - raided bazaars and public places to reveal those who wear the hijab to punish them. Such raids were publicised in the local media and on State TV Jahonnamo in mid-July.

"Total control of Muslim activity"

In mid-July President Emomali Rahmon and other officials made public statements against wearing the hijab and beards. The campaign became "more energised" after those statements, according to human rights defenders. And "it still goes on," as one human rights defender pointed out.

Women wearing the hijab were punished with fines and in some cases their husbands were questioned and held in police custody. Other women were threatened with punishments unless they stop wearing the hijab, while some were forced to take it off in public places. At least one was "humiliated" during police questioning, as the victim told human rights defenders. Still others lost their jobs.

A Muslim woman, one of the victims and several human rights defenders, who all for fear of state reprisals asked not to be named, complained to Forum 18 in July about such harassment (see below).

Officials denied to Forum 18 that anyone had been harassed or claimed the raids were merely an "awareness campaign".

President Rahmon has been attacking women wearing the hijab as well as men wearing beards from at least March 2015.


Read original post here: Tajikistan: Fines, questioning, threats for wearing hijab


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