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id: 53953

date: 2/23/2006 5:29

refid: 06DUSHANBE337

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

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DE RUEHDBU #0337/01 0540529

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RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000337

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, G, OES/PCI

TASHKENT FOR ESTH

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, EIND, SENV, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN:  FINANCING NEEDED TO PROTECT URANIUM STORAGE

SITES

DUSHANBE 00000337  001.2 OF 002

1.  SUMMARY:  Central Asian Regional Environment, Science,

Technology and Health Officer (REO), Regional Environmental

Specialist and Embassy PolOff visited three of ten uranium waste

sites in Tajikistan's northern Sughd region where processed

uranium waste has been stored since 1942, the start of uranium

mining in Central Asia.  Officials from Voctokredmet (Eastern

Rare Metals Industrial Entity) accompanied EmbOffs February 6.

The improper storage and protection of uranium waste at two of

the three sites raises environmental, health and security

concerns.  Radiation levels at one site reached 50 times the

average background radiation level.  The Tajik government and

Vostokredmet consider security a priority but estimate costs to

be over $250 million, an amount Tajikistan cannot finance.  END

SUMMARY.

2.  Ten sites in the Sughd region store 54 million metric tons

of uranium tailings.  The sites are located within and close to

Khujand, Tajikistan's second biggest city, and near two

villages, Tabashar and Adrasman.  Almost all of the waste

storage sites in northern Tajikistan are near populated areas

and/or close to rivers.  Tajikistan is seismically active and

earthquakes, floods, and the accompanying mud and landslides

threaten to contaminate the environment with uranium waste.

According to Vostokredmet officials, in the past four years,

there have been four instances of materials from the sites being

washed away at Taboshar and Adrasman.  The lack of security

around the sites allows anyone to enter and forage materials.

Scavenging is widespread and impoverished locals look for scrap

metal, which is then shipped to China, and other items that

might be useful.

GAFUROV

3.  The Gafurov waste site is the best planned and maintained of

the three EmbOffs visited.  The former-Soviet government planned

and financed the site right before the end of the Soviet Union.

Gafurov stores 400,000 metric tons of uranium wastes, mostly

from uranium mined in Kyrgyzstan's Mailyy Suu.  The site is a

four-hectare, 14-meter high mound, located on a main road

running between the city of Khujand and the airport.  The mound

is fenced, although there are at least two places in the fence

where people can easily enter the site.  Voctokredmet designed

the site and decided that seismic and other conditions precluded

the use of concrete.  According to their research, covering the

uranium waste with several meters of soil and heavily compacting

the first layer would keep the waste from becoming exposed to

the elements.  Vostokredmet officials said the REO Geiger

counter readings of 10-30 CPM, equivalent to .1 to .3

microSievert/hr are not above the normal level of background

radiation.

KARTA 1-9

4.  The second site visited, Karta 1-9, covers18-hectare, has no

security walls and looks like abandoned industrial grounds.

Karta 1-9 contains approximately three million metric tons of

uranium waste from across the former Soviet Union and Warsaw

Pact countries.  Karta 1-9 has a thin cover of soil,

approximately one to two meters deep that has not been compacted

or treated in any way.  The waste site is bordered on one side

by a grove of apricot trees and on the other by an abandoned

railroad line and pipes that originally fed liquid uranium waste

to another site.  Holes in the soil cover made by local rodents

are visible throughout.  Geiger counter readings were slightly

above normal in the 20-50 CPM (.2-.5 microSievert/hr) range.

DIGMAY

DUSHANBE 00000337  002.2 OF 002

5.  Digmay, the third site visited, is the most contaminated,

and is located outside of town approximately nine kilometers

from the Syr Darya River.  The site is not well protected.

Small signs forbid entry and a sign from the International

Atomic Energy Agency marks it as a hazardous waste area.  A wall

encircles the site, however, the lack of a gate enabled EmbOffs

to drive a large vehicle onto the site.  The site used to be a

reservoir to collect water in the same area where uranium waste

was dumped.  Since the end of the Soviet Union, the reservoir

has dried up, and the uranium waste, approximately 36 million

metric tons, is now open to the air.  EmbOffs witnessed three

men scouring the area for scrap metal and two bicycle riders

rode through the bottom of the valley, within a few hundred

meters of the most contaminated areas.  EmbOff measured one of

the scavengers' gloves and they were twice the levels of the

ground he was standing on.  CPM readings were 200-300 CPM (2-3

microSievert/hr) along the top of the site, and the guides

assured us that readings in the dried-out flats, where the

uranium was, would be up to 1,500 CPMs (15 microSievert/hr).

Readings of up to 1,500 CPMs are extraordinarily higher than

those at Gafurov, which measured at 10-30 CPMs and considered

normal.  Geiger counter measurements of the area in which the

scavengers worked measured 200-500 CPM (2-5 microSievert/hr).

6.  EmbOffs' guides were employees of Vostokredmet, originally

known as Kombinat Number 6 established in Chkalovsk, outside of

Khujand in 1945 ,to process uranium ores from mines in

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (Ungursoy) and Kyrgyzstan (Mailyy Suu).

One of the Vostokredmet officials proudly informed EmbOffs that

the uranium in the first nuclear weapon tested by the Soviet

Union was mined and manufactured in Tajikistan.  Due to its

specialized experience, Kombinat 6 continued uranium processing

using ores from other republics in the USSR (Uzbekistan,

Kyrgyzstan, and Russia) and other Socialist countries (East

Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Mongolia) even after

uranium mining ceased in Tajikistan.  Because developing nuclear

weapons was a high priority for the former-Soviet Union, uranium

mining and processing also was of high importance.  Although

uranium mining in Tajikistan ended in 1956, uranium processing

continues today using ores from other republics in the former

Soviet Union and Socialist countries.  Vostokredmet refines rare

metals on contract and has a number of manufacturing affiliates,

including a jewelry subsidiary, a metal processing equipment

factory, and a scientific research institute.

7.  COMMENT:  The Vostokredmet officials that accompanied

EmbOffss were very open about the number of sites, the amount of

waste stored, and the storage methods used.  They also reported

that Tajikistan had signed the Additional Protocol and

inspectors from the IAEA made annual trips to the known storage

areas.  They hoped that more attention to the state of the

uranium waste storage sites would attract funding to bring the

waste storage sites up to international standards.  The

officials estimated that approximately $250 million would be

needed, a sum that would be impossible for the Tajik government

to finance.  END COMMENT.

WILSON

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 53954

date: 2/23/2006 5:36

refid: 06DUSHANBE338

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

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RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0769

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 7865

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000338

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN: POLITICAL PARTY ACTIVIST FREED FROM JAIL

REF: 05 DUSHANBE 1701

1.  Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (SDPT) activist and

lawyer Fayzinoso Vohidova was released from prison February 21.

On October 13 the Sughd regional prosecutor's charged Vohidova

with "forgery and the production and sale of forged documents",

"evading tax payments", and "causing damage by means of

deception and breach of confidence".   The prosecutor's office

alleged Vohidova practiced law illegally using a false Moscow

State University diploma.  (REFTEL)

2.  Embassy staff spoke to Vohidova February 22 who reported the

court found her guilty of forgery for possessing a fake diploma,

but dropped the other two charges.  However, according to Tajik

news reports, the Sughd court ruled that Vohidova is guilty of

tax evasion, but dropped the other two charges.  (COMMENT:  The

Tajik Press is not renowned for its accuracy. END COMMENT.)

3.  The court decided Vohidova had served enough time during

pretrial detention.  According to Vohidova, as part of her

punishment, she will not be able to occupy official positions or

leadership roles for two years.  She maintains her innocence and

plans to appeal to a higher court.

4.  COMMENT:  Vohidova has been a vocal critic of the local

Sughd government, particularly the prosecutor's office and was

also a leading candidate during the February 2005 parliamentary

elections, but was disqualified based on a technicality.  The

regional government is likely using her arrest and guilty

verdict as an attempt to discredit her, the SDPT, and her civic

advocacy.  Prohibiting her from holding office and leadership

positions show the arrest was politically motivated,

particularly in a country where many are forced to buy their

diplomas and documentation.  END COMMENT.

WILSON

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 54179

date: 2/24/2006 11:00

refid: 06DUSHANBE359

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO7563

PP RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG

DE RUEHDBU #0359 0551100

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 241100Z FEB 06

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RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1444

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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0977

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 7892

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000359

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PAB, SCA/INS, SCA/PPD

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KMDR, KPAO, OIIP, PREL, PGOV, IR, TI

SUBJECT: IN TAJIKISTAN, THIS WEEK'S MEDIA BOUT GOES TO IRAN

1.  Groundbreaking for the Iran-funded Sangtuda-2 hydropower

station dominated weekly press coverage, from Tajik and Russian

Internet agencies to radio, television, and print media news

outlets.  This followed heavy government and independent media

attention on last week's announcement of the imminent completion

of the Iran-funded Anzob tunnel linking southern Tajikistan with

its northern territory.

2.  In recent weeks, the government-owned media, including Tajik

television stations, has given Iran the heavy coverage and

positive press it usually gives to Russia.  Concerning

Sangtuda-2, President Rahmonov stated, "This is not Iran's last

contribution . . . Tajikistan and Iran have resumed cooperation

after a hiatus of many years.  Iran was among the first

countries to recognize the independence of Tajikistan."

Rahmonov lauded the "billion kilowatt hours a year" that

Sangtuda-2 should produce and the great help that Iran is to the

people of Tajikistan.

3.  In addition to these two Iranian building projects, the

Tajik media recently began to highlight Iranian Ambassador to

Tajikistan Nosir Sarmadi Porso's political statements about

Iran's right to possess nuclear energy and a host of issues not

specifically concerning Tajik-Iranian bilateral interests.

Tajik and Iranian political leaders alike never fail to mention

the close historical and linguistic similarities between the two

nations.

4.  COMMENT:  Local Embassy staff were the first to pick up on

the shift in media attention on Iran, noting the daily

television coverage, front-page newspaper articles, and the

elevation of Tajik-Iranian relations, from construction to

high-level visits.  In addition to the rhetoric of culture

closeness, Iran is letting its investments speak for its

relations with Tajikistan - Sangtuda-2 and the Anzob Tunnel will

cost hundreds of millions to complete over the next few years -

and the Tajik media, directed and independent are paying

attention.  END COMMENT.

WILSON

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 54439

date: 2/27/2006 11:53

refid: 06DUSHANBE390

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

header:

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DE RUEHDBU #0390/01 0581153

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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

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RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL

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RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1197

RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 7927

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 000390

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/14/2016

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, SNAR, RS, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIKS SHOW STRONG ALLEGIANCE TOWARDS U.S. DURING BORDER

CHIEF RECEPTION

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard Hoagland, Ambassador, US Embassy

Dushanbe, State.

REASON: 1.4 (b)

1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  General Saidamir Zuhurov, Chairman of the

State Border Protection Committee, highlighted the United

States' close relationship with Tajikistan and Russia's waning

influence with the Border Guards at a reception in his honor.

The dynamics of the private reception indicated that for all the

press attention on Russian assistance and cooperation, the

Border guards consider the United States a true ally.  END

SUMMARY.

2.  (C)  Senior Law Enforcement Agent (SLEA) and EmbOff attended

a private reception in General Zuhurov's honor February 20,

along with the Russian Border Forces, the Russian 201st

Division, members of President Rahmonov's staff, senior

representatives from various ministries, BOMCA Director Peter

Isaacs and a host of military officers from the Border Guards.

Zuhurov's aide invited EmbOffs to an exclusive suite within the

restaurant, where the president's staff and senior ministry

representatives were holding court with Zuhurov.  As EmbOffs

entered the back room, Russian Border Forces also barged into

the VIP room, to the evident annoyance of Zuhurov's aides.  When

EmbOffs entered, Zuhurov interrupted a toast in progress to give

a long introduction of SLEA.

3.  (C)  When the Russian Border Forces Commander

General-Lieutenant Nikolai Kosharin attempted to give a toast,

Tajik Border Guards' Chief of Staff sidelined him, saying, "We

will all say a few words in [Zuhurov's] honor and we will drink

together."  Kosharin insisted on giving a separate toast, and

several other people who did not want to participate in a

collective toast took offense.  The Russian general was then

permitted to give his speech, but from the room's palpable

tension, the Tajiks appeared uncomfortable with his demand for

the spotlight.  During the speech, Kosharin was interrupted

several times, once by the Chief of Staff who suggested Kosharin

should not comment on Tajikistan's affairs because he was not

Tajik.  In the background, many commented in Tajiki during and

about the Russian general's toast.

4.  (C)  At the end of the reception, Zuhurov delivered a long

speech in which he profusely thanked the United States and the

U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe for the assistance to the Border Guards

and Tajikistan.  He noted the close working relationship between

the two countries, specifically pointing out Embassy staff and

frequently referred to SLEA as a "good friend."  EmbOffs tried

to excuse themselves from the reception on multiple occasions,

but Tajik persistence and hospitality coerced them back to the

party.  In one instance, EmbOffs were in their vehicle driving

away when they were stopped and persuaded back in.

5.  (C)  COMMENT:  In front of the Russian guests, senior Tajik

officials openly displayed their close private relationship with

U.S. officials, and at times, their contempt for the Russian

general's presence.  Although the Russian-biased Tajik media may

report on Russia's dominance in the region, in reality at least

some senior officials place higher regard on fostering

Tajik-U.S. relations.  END COMMENT.

6.  (C)  BIO NOTE:  During the reception, the Russian Border

Forces Commander Kosharin introduced EmbOffs to Saidsho

Shamolov, Tajikistan's recently appointed Military Attachi to

the People's Republic of China.  He expressed his gratitude for

the position by remarking, "What kind of fucking country is

China?  [Rahmonov] should have sent me to Russia or Germany or

the U.S.!"   EmbOff gave Shamolov his U.S. flag lapel pin, which

Shamolov proudly displayed.  Shamolov is rumored to be among

President Rahmonov's closest friends and advisors.  He served as

a soldier who supported Rahmonov prior to his election to the

presidency.  The Russian General and other Tajik generals have

DUSHANBE 00000390  002 OF 002

told SLEA that Shamolov headed the President's Personal

Protection Team during and after the Tajik Civil War.  He was

responsible for eradicating opposition fighters during the civil

war, and may have led the massacres of other Tajiks.  The Tajik

generals noted that Shamolov was assigned as Military Attachi to

China because he was "too tough" for a political appointment.

END BIO NOTE.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 54595

date: 2/28/2006 11:13

refid: 06DUSHANBE394

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination: 05DUSHANBE1737|06DUSHANBE329|06DUSHANBE394

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RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 1399

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RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 7933

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DUSHANBE 000394

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, DRL/IRF

NSC FOR MILLARD, MERKEL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PROP, KIRF, TI

SUBJECT: DUSHANBE SYNAGOGUE DEMOLITION GAINING MEDIA INTEREST

REF: A)  DUSHANBE 0329  B) 05 DUSHANBE 1737

DUSHANBE 00000394  001.2 OF 003

1.  SUMMARY:  The February 8 partial demolition of the Dushanbe

synagogue (reftel A) is beginning to make waves in the

international media and is stimulating letters of protest to

Embassy Dushanbe from private citizens in the United States.

The media accounts emphasize the reported intemperate and

insensitive remarks that a few Tajik officials allegedly made,

and perpetuate the inaccurate information that the synagogue is

a century old and a historic site.  Because the story is

growing, we propose press guidance in para 7.  END SUMMARY.

2.  The demolition of the Dushanbe synagogue is drawing

international attention.  Forum 18 News Service (

 ) provided a detailed and generally

factual account February 22, "TAJIKISTAN:  Demolition of

Country's Only Synagogue Begins."  February 28, "IsraelInsider"

(  ) posted an

op-ed by Shelomo Alfassa, "Our Synagogue is Destroyed.  Why are

We Silent?"  This article contrasts international outcry over

the destruction of the Shia'a Shrine in Samara, Iraq, to the

lack of attention to the synagogue story.  The "IsraelInsider"

op-ed includes the following:

"~The destruction of the Tajikistan synagogue is the most

disgraceful act committed by a sovereign state toward its Jewish

population since the end of WWII. The Soviet Union and its

successor states may have oppressed and harassed their Jewish

communities, but even at the height of Stalin's anti-Semitic

purges they did not seek to wipe every element of Jewish

existence like the Tajikistan government.

"It is an ominous message for a Jewish community, that while

living under a government that is attempting to rebuild its

economic, political and social image -- it starts by wiping out

the only synagogue in its country.

"The international Jewish community has a responsibility to do

everything it can to help the remaining elderly and

poverty-stricken Jews in Tajikistan. I call upon the worldwide

directors of Jewish organizations, to speak out on this issue.

Write articles, tell your communities about this, telephone, and

email your government officials. Have them condemn this

aggressive assault against a peaceful community. Communicate,

act, help make 'Never Again' a reality~."

3.  Both accounts emphasize the allegedly insensitive and

intemperate comments by several Tajik officials.

4.  February 28, Embassy Dushanbe received an e-mail from a

concerned AmCit in Herndon, Virginia.

Begin text:

Dear Ambassador Hoagland,

I'm a concerned citizen writing to protest the demolition of

Jewish religious sites in Dushanbe between 7 and 22 February

2006.  Among the destroyed buildings was the one and only Tajik

synagogue, which was a century old and in active use by a

juridically recognized religious community.

According to Forum 18, an NGO based in Oslo, Norway, the

demolition was marked by dispute and irregularity

().  The

Jewish community's claim of ownership was summarily dismissed by

the municipal Religious Affairs Department.  Demolition began

DUSHANBE 00000394  002.2 OF 003

without an official assessment or opportunity for comment.  The

temporary facilities offered by the Government to Rabbi

Abdurakhmanov are remote from congregants and therefore

inadequate.  Since the community is small, poor and partly

elderly, it is unlikely to have the means to build a new

synagogue.

I'm most troubled by the state's attitude toward its Jewish

citizens.  Dushanbe Religious Affairs Department head Nuriddinov

branded them liars.  Tahir Rashidov, deputy head of the national

Religious Affairs Committee, countered questions about the

demolition with threats to revoke the Jewish community's

juridical status.  When a congregant taped the demolitions,

officials warned they would break his camera.

I urge the Department of State, which is committed to the

protection of global religious freedoms, to request an

investigation of the incident and a reconsideration of the

demolition.  If Tajikistan is a modern, tolerant and secular

state, it would better serve these values by protecting its

religious sites and respecting its faith communities.  A good

start would be made by rebuilding the synagogue.

I would appreciate a response.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

End text.

5.  The Ambassador sent the following response:

Begin text:

Dear [name withheld]:

I fully share your concern for the Jewish community in

Tajikistan and for the Dushanbe synagogue.  I would like to

assure you for three years, ever since the synagogue was given

notice of the impending demolition because of an urban renewal

project, I have followed these developments closely.  I have

been in touch with several Jewish communities abroad and with

other diplomatic missions, including the Israeli Embassy.  The

synagogue and Tajik government have been engaged in a dialogue

over this issue for years.  Unfortunately, no one has been able

to produce a solution.

Overall, Tajikistan is a religiously tolerant country, and I do

not believe anti-Semitism is involved.  Several Tajik homes and

a mosque in the immediate vicinity of the synagogue were

demolished months ago.  The statements from Tajik officials you

refer to were likely due to political insensitivity and

frustration over the lengthy issue rather than anti-Semitism.

I feel deeply for the community and regret that it is the poor

and disenfranchised who will suffer.  I understand the

synagogue, built in the 1940s, is an important structure for the

community.  Unfortunately, the destruction is irreversible.  I

agree with you that to move on, the synagogue should be rebuilt.

 I will continue to help as I can; however, my intervention

alone cannot be decisive.  I encourage you to work with others

to assist the synagogue and its community financially or

otherwise.

Sincerely,

End text.

DUSHANBE 00000394  003.2 OF 003

6.  The Ambassador and Mark Levin of the National Council for

Soviet Jewry have been in frequent touch on the synagogue issue.

 February 27, the Ambassador recommended that Levin and an

appropriate delegation come to Dushanbe soonest to mediate the

problem and, equally important, raise funds for a new synagogue

and community center.

7.  If the issue is raised at the Department's Daily Press

Briefing, we suggest the following press guidance:

-- The U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan and his staff have followed

this story closely for several years.  They have advocated to

various groups in the United States, Israel, and elsewhere to

work closely with the Dushanbe synagogue and its community.

-- Despite reports of intemperate and insensitive remarks by

several Tajik officials about this issue, we believe that

anti-Semitism is not involved.  It is primarily a property

dispute.

-- Although the Dushanbe synagogue is widely reported to be

about 100 years old, city records show that it was built in the

1940s.  The city of Dushanbe, the new capital of the then-Tajik

Soviet Socialist Republic, was founded in 1924.  The oldest

existing buildings date from the end of the 1920s.

-- We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will

be helpful where we can.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 54626

date: 2/28/2006 13:03

refid: 06DUSHANBE396

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED

destination:

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----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS DUSHANBE 000396

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, EUR/ACE, DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KPAO, TI

SUBJECT: TAJIK GOVT DELAYS PUBLICATION OF OPPOSITION PAPER

REF: A) 05 Dushanbe 1127  B) 05 Dushanbe 1172

1.  A local Dushanbe court has dragged its feet reviewing

Mukhtor Boqizoda's case, thereby further preventing the

publication of Boqizoda's "Neru-i Sukhan," an independent

newspaper critical of President Rahmonov's administration and

perceived by the government as "opposition."  The government

shut down his newspaper in January 2005.  In July Boqizoda was

allowed to resume printing for one week, and then shut down

again.   In August, a Dushanbe court found Boqizoda guilty of

stealing electricity from an electric company (reftels).  After

an investigation cleared Boqizoda, the Supreme Court reviewed

his case and decided February 10 that the local court's ruling

was invalid.  The Supreme Court instructed the local court to

revise its decision, which would allow Boqizoda's newspaper to

resume printing.  The court was instructed to review the case

and make a decision on February 24, but Boqizoda told PolOff

February 27 the court had not made a decision yet.

2.  According to Boqizoda, a group of tax inspectors climbed

over the wall of his printing house and raided his offices

January 26, 2005, while he was out of the country.  The

inspectors accused him of operating a press without a license,

proper registration, or charter.  After Boqizoda produced all

necessary documents, the police charged him with illegal use of

electricity, claiming he stole electricity from street wires.

When that charge also was proved wrong, they accused him of

stealing electricity from his neighbor.  That allegation, too,

was disproved, and so authorities charged him with stealing

electricity from the electric company, and in August a Dushanbe

court sentenced him to two years in a correctional facility.

(COMMENT:  This conviction caused somewhat of a stir, in that it

was the first time someone was sentenced to jail for a violation

that normally garnered an administrative fine. END COMMENT.)

After an investigation, the electric company confirmed that

Boqizoda did not steal electricity from it.

3.  "Neru-i Sukhan's" articles and editorials critical of

Rahmonov, Rahmonov's family, and other government officials made

Boqizoda many enemies.  After publishing an article on Minister

of Foreign Affairs Talbak Nazarov, criticizing him as too old

for the job, Nazarov invited Boqizoda's close friends in for a

talk, hoping they would convince Boqizoda to stop publishing

disparaging comments.  Boqizoda also accused a professor and

close friend of Mahmadnazar Solehov, Chief of the President's

Administration, of accepting bribes from students.

4.  Boqizoda told PolOff that he wrote a letter to President

Rahmonov appealing for help, but has not received a response.

He is determined to resume printing "Neru-i Sukhan" once the

local court corrects its decision.  Boqizoda is also awaiting

the arrival of a printing press from the Eurasia Foundation,

which may not be put into use until after the November

presidential election.  In addition, he is planning to publish a

magazine.  He has been unemployed since the government shut down

his publishing house in 2005 and is in financial debt.

5.  COMMENT:  The Supreme Court would not likely have made its

decision without prior approval from the President's office.

Rahmonov may be loosening the chokehold on opposition press

prior to the November presidential election -- slightly.

However, the local court may not make its decision until the end

of the year.  Even if the court allowed Boqizoda to resume

printing prior to November, it is likely authorities would find

another excuse to block his publications.  END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 54648

date: 2/28/2006 14:58

refid: 06DUSHANBE397

origin: Embassy Dushanbe

classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

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RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC

RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC

RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

----------------- header ends ----------------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 DUSHANBE 000397

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, G, G/TIP, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PHUM, PREF, ELAB, KCRM, KWMN, KFRD, ASEC,

SMIG

SUBJECT: TAJIKISTAN'S 2005-2006 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

REF: STATE 3836

DUSHANBE 00000397  001.2 OF 012

1.  The following is Embassy Dushanbe's 2005-2006 Trafficking in

Persons Report.  Post's lettering system matches reftel's.

OVERVIEW OF TAJIKISTAN'S ACTIVITIES TO ELIMINATE TRAFFICKING IN

PERSONS

A.  Tajikistan is an origin country for trafficking.

International trafficking for the purposes of sexual and labor

exploitation is a problem.  The most common destination

countries include the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Turkey,

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran.  Reliable statistics do not

exist for the number of victims trafficked.  The key

organizations that deal with trafficking--the General

Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Interior and the

International Organization for Migration (IOM)--all have

differing numbers.  IOM gathered the following statistics from

other agencies:

The majority of trafficking victims are female, single, and aged

20 to 26.  IOM estimates that at least 420 women were trafficked

to the UAE and other Arab countries for sexual exploitation in

2005.  In 2005, IOM, in cooperation with the Tajik government,

repatriated 49 women from the UAE.

Trafficking for labor exploitation is primarily to Russia and

the majority are unemployed males.   IOM and a Tajik government

delegation visited Volgograd, Russia, in 2005 and confirmed that

2000 men have been trafficked to Russia for labor exploitation.

The number of victims trafficked for labor exploitation is

unclear.  Because of the level of poverty in Tajikistan,

according to unofficial accounts, up to one million men choose

to go to Russia each year for work mostly in construction or

agriculture.  Most of them are unregistered, often subjected to

poor living conditions, and face prejudice and sometimes

brutality from their bosses and Russian citizens in general.

The majority of the labor migrants choose to go on their own

will.  Although IOM does not have additional facts on male

trafficking victims, it does know that one man was repatriated

from UAE in 2005.

IOM confirmed two children have been trafficked: one to the UAE

for sexual exploitation and one for labor exploitation within

Tajikistan.  Child trafficking victims usually were in the care

of extended family.

Tajikistan is not known to be a receiving country for

trafficking victims; trafficking victims are trafficked out of

Tajikistan.  However, there was a unique case of one man

trafficked from Russia to Tajikistan for slavery purposes.

B.  Through the assistance of international donors, in 2005 the

Tajik government has made significant strides towards preventing

TIP and establishing strong government institutions to fight TIP

in the long term.  The Tajik government established an

inter-agency high-level commission to combat TIP, increased the

number of specialized TIP investigation units throughout the

country, provided more training to law enforcement, and in

February 2006 opened the Ministry of Interior's (MOI)

Intelligence and Analytical Center for Counter-Narcotics and

Trafficking In Persons.  Political will to combat TIP is strong,

DUSHANBE 00000397  002.2 OF 012

and President Rahmonov has made public statements condemning

trafficking.  The government is keen on securing its borders,

fighting organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorists, and

TIP issues are integrated into these security concerns.

In the MOI's investigations, the majority of traffickers are

individuals with private links to the receiving country.  MOI

believes traffickers may form organized groups, but it did not

find evidence of significant trafficking rings in Tajikistan in

2005.  The trafficking process usually starts with a recruiter

who is a relative, neighbor or colleague of the victim.  The

typical trafficker is a middle-aged woman.  Other facilitators

in the process include those who organize logistics, including

obtaining false passports and travel documents.  Collaborators

in the receiving country prepare accommodations and use their

connections to force the victim into work.

Traffickers primarily target socially and economically

vulnerable people in all parts of Tajikistan. Many are new

arrivals to Dushanbe or Khujand from rural areas with little

formal education.  The Sughd region leads the country in the

number of trafficking cases reported.  The region's proximity to

Kyrgyzstan makes it easy for traffickers to move victims across

the border and on to other international points.  Approximately

64% of the population lives under the poverty line, and

thousands of Tajiks regularly leave the country in search of

better income opportunities.  Many of these economic migrants,

especially from the rural areas, become victims of cross-border

trafficking.  Victims are typically approached either with

offers of lucrative jobs abroad or by a direct offer to work as

prostitutes.

C.  The General Prosecutor's office and IOM pointed out that the

Trafficking In Persons Law (Article 130) is inadequate.  In 2005

no one was convicted under article 130.  The poorly-written

law's structure and gaps make it difficult to convict a

trafficker.  The General Prosecutor's office is working on

redrafting the law.

The lack of extradition agreements between Tajikistan and Arab

countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates, where the

largest percentage of victims are trafficked, prevents

Tajikistan from repatriating victims and criminals.  The

government's inter-agency commission under the Presidential

Advisor's Office is working on drafting extradition agreements

and establishing greater formal cooperation ties between

Tajikistan and the U.A.E.

On the other hand, Tajikistan's close relationship with other

Commonwealth of Independent States countries affords it a loose

travel regime.  Tajik citizens are not required to obtain

passports for international travel to countries like Kyrgyzstan,

where increasingly more victims are trafficked.  Because of

tighter Tajik travel restrictions, traffickers are electing to

take victims across the border to Kyrgyzstan by road and fly to

the U.A.E. and other destinations via Osh.

The government acknowledges that government officials do aid

traffickers for money.  Some passport officials issue illegal

passports so victims can travel outside Central Asia and Russia;

employees responsible for issuing birth and marriage

DUSHANBE 00000397  003.2 OF 012

certificates provide false documents so that traffickers can

travel with the victims and victims can travel outside of the

country into the U.A.E., where the majority of female victims

are trafficked.  The UAE prohibits women from Tajikistan under

30 years of age to enter the UAE without a relative or spouse

escort.  The General Prosecutor's office did not maintain

specific records on corrupt bureaucrats involved in TIP, but

estimated that the office prosecuted two or three corrupt

bureaucrats in 2005.

Tajikistan has received millions of dollars from donor countries

and agencies in the fight against trafficking in persons.  Most

of the aid has gone into anti-TIP efforts including training

government officials, equipping investigative units, assisting

victims and educating the public.  The government has strong

political will to combat TIP, but must rely on international

donors to provide these services.

D.  Each ministry or government agency collects data and has one

or two people responsible for analyzing the data.  There is no

central inter-agency government database.  The State Migration

Service, with the help of IOM, in early 2006 established a

database to track trafficking acts.  A Data Analysis Center in

the State Border Protection Committee at Dushanbe Airport

monitors travelers' data in and out of Tajikistan.  IOM also

collects data from various agencies for its own analysis;

however,  they feel  hindered by unreliable data.  The

government shares information with the media which publishes

TIP-related news items on a regular basis,  but to date has not

published in-depth analytical reports.  In February 2006, with

U.S. funding, the Ministry of Interior opened an Intelligence

and Analytical Center for Counter-Narcotics and Trafficking In

Persons.  This center will be a central point for trafficking

data collection and analysis.  The General Prosecutor's Office

noted they are drafting their own TIP analysis.

PREVENTION

A.  The Tajik government acknowledges that trafficking is a

problem in Tajikistan, has strong political will to stop

trafficking, and has taken measures to stop the problem.  The

government has a high-level inter-agency commission to

coordinate anti-TIP activities.

B.  Several ministries and agencies in Tajikistan focus on TIP.

Although the government institutions communicate  with each

other and NGOs, there has been a lack of true coordination, and

no agency has taken the lead in handling anti-TIP efforts.  The

government's new National Action Plan outlines specific roles

for each ministry and agency in handling TIP issues.

A special inter-agency commission of high-level officials from

various ministries and President Rahmonov's administration works

on coordinating anti-TIP efforts.  However, the MOI sees the

Commission's role less focused on coordination, but rather on

assisting with victim repatriation.  The Ministry of Foreign

Affairs takes the lead on working with countries like the U.A.E.

to try to repatriate victims, establish extradition agreements

and cooperation with government agencies.   The Ministry of

DUSHANBE 00000397  004.2 OF 012

Interior is responsible for investigations, and arrests in

trafficking cases.  Tajikistan's police force and special police

TIP units fall under the MOI.  The General Prosecutors Office,

working with the judicial system, is responsible for prosecuting

and sentencing TIP violators.  The Ministry of Labor and Social

Protection takes the lead on labor migration, and under the new

National Action Plan, the Ministry of Health will have a larger

role in assisting the rehabilitation of victims.  Other

ministries and agencies working in trafficking problems include

the State Border Protection Committee, Parliament's Committee

for Women and Family Affairs and Committee on Constitutional

Legality, Legislation and Human Rights, and the Ministry of

Security.

C.  The government has developed its own awareness campaigns and

provides input to IOM's campaigns.  It supports local and

international NGOs in TIP education. The government occasionally

will issue press statements and relies on the media to

disseminate its information on TIP.  There is no explicit

information campaign.  During the year, IOM ran TIP awareness

campaigns throughout the country.  The government, local and

international NGOs also raise awareness by educating high school

aged students about TIP.  Education and awareness campaigns in

the country are targeted at potential victims.

D.  Beginning in March of 2005, the government established a

24-hour telephone hotline with trained operators to provide

information and counsel callers on TIP.   The government has

conducted conferences, roundtables and seminars to train

trainers how to educate people about the dangers of TIP.  Local

and international NGOs run programs and training programs to

empower women.  Specifically, the government has worked with

CARE International and USAID to address the failing education

system and decreasing school attendance of girls, recognizing

that these factors will exacerbate poverty and increase the

likelihood of trafficking.

E.  Please note that reftel omitted paragraph E.

F.  Tajik government agencies, particularly the Ministry of

Interior and Ministry of Labor, cooperate closely with the U.S.

Embassy, other diplomatic missions, donor agencies, and NGOs on

TIP issues and are forthcoming with information.  IOM, the

leading anti-TIP agency in Tajikistan, reported an excellent

working relationship with the government.  In February 2006, IOM

signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the inter-agency

commission on combating TIP.  IOM has a close working

relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of

Interior, Ministry of Security, Ministry of Labor and Social

Protection and General Prosecutor's Office.  Similarly, within

the government, ministries and agencies work closely and are

open with information.

G.  Each government agency that deals with TIP has at least one

or two people responsible for collecting and analyzing the

agency's data.  Border guards are stationed in Dushanbe's

airports and along border checkpoints.  Border guards are

DUSHANBE 00000397  005.2 OF 012

trained to screen for potential traffickers and victims.  A Data

Analysis Center in the State Border Protection Committee at

Dushanbe Airport monitors travelers' data in and out of

Tajikistan.  The State Migration Service, with the help of IOM,

in early 2006, established a database to track trafficking acts.

 In February 2006, the MOI opened a U.S.-funded Intelligence and

Analytical Center for Counter-Narcotics and Trafficking In

Persons.

H.  Government agencies work closely together on TIP issues on

an ad-hoc basis.  An inter-agency commission for combating TIP

is supposed to coordinate the ministries' TIP activities.

Officials from the President's Office sit on the commission

along with senior officials from the ministries that deal with

TIP.  Based on discussions with various agencies, the commission

focuses more on extradition and inter-government relations than

being a coordination unit or internal center for information.

Its coordination role is implicit in that it is housed under the

President's Advisors' Office which is in charge of all

government ministries and agencies.  The government's chief

point of contact would be the head of the inter-agency

commission's head, the Chief of the Department of Law and Order

and Defense, Abdurahmon Azimov.  The National Action Plan, which

the government is expected to adopt this year, outlines each

agency's activities and is a focal point for coordination.  The

government had set up a separate anti-corruption task force in

June 2004 within the General Prosecutor's Office.

I.  Please note that reftel omitted paragraph I.

J.  The government, with heavy IOM input, drafted a National

Action Plan in 2005 for combating TIP for 2006-2010.  It is

currently in the approval process.  The various ministries and

agencies involved in the National Action Plan have cleared on

it, and the Plan is now being sent through the President's

Administration for President Rahmonov's signature.  The Plan

serves as a legally binding document that commits each agency to

realizing its goals outlined in the National Action Plan.  The

Plan coordinates the government's action and clarifies its

goals.  The Plan will assist government agencies and

organizations working with the government to implement projects

in line with Tajikistan's anti-TIP policy.  Government agencies

with a role in the National Action Plan include the Ministry of

Interior, Ministry of Security, the State Border Protection

Committee (Border Guards), the General Prosecutor's Office, the

Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, and the Ministry of

Defense, in cooperation with IOM.

INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS

A.  The government did not introduce or amend TIP-related laws

in 2005.  Tajikistan does have an article in its criminal code

specifically for human trafficking-article 130.1.  Tajikistan's

trafficking laws do not differentiate between trafficking for

sexual exploitation and trafficking for non-sexual purposes such

as forced labor.  The country does not have a law against

slavery.  The following is the comprehensive Law of the Republic

of Tajikistan on Combating Trafficking in Persons adopted August

DUSHANBE 00000397  006.2 OF 012

2004; traffickers are prosecuted under the articles of the

following criminal codes:  122 (Coercion for removal of human

organs and tissues for transplantation), 130 (Kidnapping), 130.1

(Human trafficking), 131 (Illegal imprisonment), 132

(Recruitment of people for exploitation), 134 (Coercion), 138

(Rape), 139 (Sexual abuse), 140 (Compulsion for sexual

activities), 141 (Sexual intercourse or other sexual activities

with persons under 16), 142 (Lecherous actions), 149 (Incorrect

limitation of migration, freedom of choosing place of residence,

emigration and returning of a citizen), 167 (Trafficking

minors), 171 (Substitution of child), 172 (Illegal adoption),

238 (Involvement in prostitution), 239 (Establishment or keeping

of dens, procuring or pimping), 335 (Illegal crossing of state

border), 336 (Violation of state border regulations), 339 (Theft

or damaging documents, stamps, seals), 340 (Forgery,

manufacturing or sale of for

Источник: ИА "Авеста"
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