In a statement delivered in the Majlisi Milli (Tajikistan’s upper chamber of parliament), Prosecutor-General Yusuf Rahmon revealed in mid-March that 108 men of draft age were prosecuted in Tajikistan last year for refusing to serve in military  

Tajikistan’s Penal Code criminalizes refusal to serve in the army.  Article 343 stipulates that refusal to serve in military is punishable by  a fine of 500 to 1000 calculating indicators  or up to two years in jail.  

Current rate of a calculating indicator (estimate) is equal to 68.00 somonis.  

It is to be noted that the topic of drafting young people into the army not the first year has been relevant in Tajikistan.

Bad conditions, mistreatment of soldiers, brutal hazing of new recruits and death of young men in military units are called the main reasons why Tajik young men try to avoid military service.  

The two-month-long effort seeking to enlist young men aged 18-27 for the two-year compulsory military service takes place in Tajikistan twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn.

Young Tajiks can avoid or postpone military service if they are ill, studying at university, an only son, or if they have two children.

Many young men reportedly try to avoid conscription.  One reason is that, as in many former Soviet countries, the Tajik Army is known for the brutal hazing of new recruits.  To avoid the army, many conscript-aged men move to Russia during the twice-a-year drafts in the spring and fall.  

To fulfill conscription campaign, the Tajik authorities sometimes still use military recruitment raids.  During two months in spring (April-May) and two months in autumn (October-November), Tajik men of serving age are routinely hauled off streets or taken from their homes and forced into cars by plainclothes law enforcement officers.

A ‘hunt’ for persons of draft age, more commonly known as ‘raid’, which is sometimes used to catch young people, is a violation of the law.  The Tajik authorities do not admit the use of raids, but ordinary citizens and analysts repeatedly expressed concern about the forced recruitment of young people, and other illegal methods used in recruiting campaigns.