Tajikistan. According to
countryaah, the country's economic crisis worsened
further during the year. The severe winter led to food
shortages and extensive power outages. Since Tajikistan did
not pay gas bills to neighboring Uzbekistan, gas supplies
also declined. The International Crisis Group (ICG) warned
in February that Tajikistan was about to develop into a weak
and unstable state like neighboring Afghanistan. According
to the ICG, long-term energy shortages and severe
unemployment threatened to create concern. Nearly half of
Tajikistan's workforce had been guest workers abroad, but in
the global financial crisis they lost their jobs, especially
in the Russian Federation. The influx of money from outside
was thus reduced and many workers returned to a society
where more than two-thirds of the population was estimated
to live in severe poverty.
At the beginning of the year, the country decided to
allow non-military US transportation to Afghanistan through
Tajikistan territory. It was announced since neighboring
Kyrgyzstan announced the closure of the US air base there.
Security forces took action during the year against armed
groups in eastern Tajikistan, which had foreign members,
among other things. In July, Islamist opposition leader and
former minister Mirzo Zijeev was killed, according to
authorities, shot by a criminal gang in connection with an
attempt to uncover weapons hiding. Zijeev was said to have
gone over to the regime after being arrested in a raid
against armed groups that attacked a police check. Another
former minister was killed in the same area during the year.
According to authorities he took his life but according to
eyewitnesses he was shot by police.
During the year, Tajikistan tightened its border guard
against Afghanistan after increasing reports of Islamists
coming in from neighboring countries. The country's women
are treated very poorly, according to a report by Amnesty
International in November. Nearly half of the women are
subjected to rape, abuse or other abuse and they do not
receive much help from the authorities. The perpetrators are
usually women's men or sons-in-law, and the abuse has led to
many suicides, according to Amnesty.