A two-month autumn conscription campaign officially ended in Tajikistan on November 30, but its results have not yet been announced. 

For the last time, the Defense Ministry provided information about the process of the autumn conscription campaign on October 31. 

It was noted that Tajikistan has reached 75 percent of its autumn conscription target by November 1.  The Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO), Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district, Rasht, Sangvor, Lakhsh, Nourobod, Tojikobod, Vakhsh, Farkhor, Nosir-Khusrav, Danghara, and Dousti districts as well as the cities of Nurek, Levakant and Roghun reportedly fulfilled their autumn conscription targets.

In the territorial cross section the percentage the target reached was: Gorno Badakhshan – 100 percent; Dushanbe – 72 percent; districts subordinate to the center (RRP) – 80 percent; Khatlon province – 79 percent; and Sughd province – 65 percent. 

People are expressing concern on social media doesn't this mean that the conscription target has not been fulfilled and  hunting men of draft age will continue in some cities and districts of the country.  

The executive director of the Office of Civil freedoms Public Organization, Ms. Dilrabo Samadova, says there can be only one reason for the lack of announcement of the draft results -- failure to fulfill the conscription target.  

Recall, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on December 8 last year that Tajik authorities failed to meet the autumn enlistment quota on December 1 and took extreme measures to fulfill the autumn conscription campaign target.  Thus, the autumn conscription campaign that was to be competed on December 1 was reportedly extended until mid-December.  

An article entitled “Uncle Samad Wants You! Tajikistan Taking Extreme Measures To Get Recruits Amid Failed Army Draft” that was posted on RFE/RL’s website on December 15, 2022 said two separate sources involved in the enlistment process in Dushanbe and the southern Khatlon Province claimed that at least 15 towns and districts had failed to recruit the required number of conscripts, prompting authorities to prolong the call-up by two weeks, until December 15.  The officials reportedly spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to media.

The autumn conscription campaign is carried out from October 1 through November, and the draft affects able-bodied male citizens in the age bracket of 18 years old to 27 years old who are not members of the armed forces reserve

The same decree provides for the retirement from active duty of soldiers and sergeants whose service under conscription is over.

The two-month-long effort seeking to enlist young men aged 18-27 for the two-year compulsory military service takes place 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.

Meanwhile, amendments have been made to the country’s law on military service this year.  The amendments came into effect on February 4, 2021 and young men in Tajikistan who wish to forgo the military service may now do so by paying a fee to the government.  A one-month basic reserve service will be organized for those who did not perform conscript service for a fee.  At the end of basic reserve service they will receive military cards.

Besides, under the law on the universal military duty in new edition, graduates of universities having military department will also be drafted into the army for one year.

Only people who have done military service will be permitted to obtain employment with the government or join the army in a professional capacity.

Tajikistan’s armed forces consist of Ground Forces, Mobile Forces (paratroopers of the armed forces of Tajikistan), Air Force and Air Defense Force.  

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 have repeatedly expressed concern about the forced recruitment of young people, and other illegal methods used in recruiting campaigns.