Parents of some university students have complained to MPs that unknown persons in civilian clothes forcibly take their children into the army.  During the ongoing spring conscription campaign, there were many media reports about military recruitment raids in the country.

A military recruitment raid is an illegal compulsory form of conscription, often with the use of physical force, illegal invasion of private territory, threats and other illegal actions.

Members of Tajikistan’s lower chamber (Majlisi Namoyandagon) have the raised the issue of military recruitment raids in the country.

A regular sitting of the Majlisi Namoyandagon, presided over by its head, Mahmadtoir Zokirzoda, took place on April 20.    

MP Abduhalim Ghafforzoda, who is also leader of the Socialist Party of Tajikistan (SPT), put question to the First Deputy Minister of Defense, Emomali Sobirzoda, while the latter was presenting new amendments proposed to the country’s law on defense.

The MP, in particular, asked about the number of young people drafted for military service during the spring conscription campaign last year and this year and for what purposes had been spent 11 million somonis made from a paid one-month basic reserve service. 

Mr. Ghafforzoda told reporters after the meeting that the appeals of the parents of some young people regarding the forced conscription of their children had prompted him to ask those questions. 

According to him, the parent of one of university students complained to him that his son had forcibly been taken into the army.  

The MP stressed that such actions are against the law as young Tajiks can avoid or postpone military service if they are studying at university.

Recall, President’s Administration Office in April last year received a complaint from civil society regarding military recruitment raids (forcible conscription of young people into the army – Asia-Plus) and sent it for consideration to the Ministry of Defense, the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor-General’s Office,

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