Apr 04

The Status of Tajikistan’s Political Opposition Abroad: An Event @ GWU

9 April, 2019 @ 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Central Asia Program, George Washington University



Room 505
1957 E st NW
DC 20052

John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)

The vulnerability and protection of political oppositions in exile: political and legal perspectives on the case of Tajikistan

Since the end of the UN-mandated peace process following its civil war, the Government of Tajikistan has gradually eviscerated all political opposition. In 2015, the last remaining opposition party, and only legal Islamic party in Central Asia, was declared a terrorist organization and outlawed. Real political opposition now exists only in exile, where its members are subjected to methods of transnational repression. This situation presents international political and legal challenges. How do those states, including the United States, which were guarantors of the peace agreement and supported political pluralism formally and informally in Tajikistan for many years respond to this new situation? Is it possible to recognize certain Tajik opposition movements with the legal status of ‘official opposition in exile’ so that these foreign states may continue to meet with them and support political pluralism?

Marintha R. Miles (George Washington University and George Mason University)

Toward the Support of Political Pluralism in Tajikistan

The collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent civil war founded a climate of restless politics in Tajikistan. This climate, forged with a culture of migration to Russia, creates a mechanism for the advancement of contentious politics abroad. This presentation first maps these movements and alliances and next explores best options for support of political pluralism and human rights within Tajikistan. What do we mean by opposition? Could formal recognition of movements abroad hurt both asylum seekers and political pluralism? What are the best options to bolster political pluralism within the country?

Nate Schenkkan (Freedom House)