Criminal proceedings have been instituted against two sergeants of a border guard unit deployed in Isfara district, Sughd province.  They are charged with hazing.  

“Junior Sergeant Muhriddin Ismoilov wanted to show his superiority over conscript soldiers,” the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tajikistan says commenting on a photo with offensive haircut recruits posted on social media on June 15.   

In the photo, Ismoilov stands in front of several conscript soldiers whose hairs are cut in the shape of Cyrillic letters К, О, Н, И, Б, О, Д, О, М (English: Konibodom – a city in Sughd province). 

Moreover, it is noted that the incident with a haircut occurred in January last year, while it became known about it now, after another Junior Sergeant A. Davlatov posted the photo on social media on June 15.

Criminal proceedings were instituted against Ismoilov and Davlatov under the provisions of Article 391 (1) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – abuse of power or position, excess of official or service authority or inaction of power.

If convicted, Ismoilov and Davlatov could face a fine in the amount equal 250 and 919 calculating indicators (one calculating indicators is equal to 68.00 somonis) or up to five years in prison.  

Hazing, is any conduct whereby a military member or members, regardless of Service or rank, without proper authority causes another military member or members, regardless of Service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful.

Bullying and hazing -- sometimes with lethal consequences -- have been a serious problem in Tajikistan.

In a national report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the Government of Tajikistan reportedly noted that more than 100 soldiers died during the from 2019 to 2021 mainly due to hazing in the army.