“On May 25, we had to return back 90 people from Syria, but some women were unable to leave Syria,” Tajik Ambassador Kuwait and Syria Zubidullo Zubaidov told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, on April 27. 

According to him, two days before departure, some women said that they cannot leave Syria because members of Habsa group (a special group in women’s camp) abducted their children.  

“As a whole, the program of return of Tajik women and children from Iraq and Syria has almost been completed,” Tajik diplomat noted.  

“All those who wanted to return have been returned, with the exception of those who did not want or do not have the opportunity to return,” said Zubaidov.   “Thus, 37 Tajik women are serving their life sentences in Iraqi prisons.  Their children were returned back to Tajikistan in 2019.  About a month ago we visited these women.  They have no complaints about the conditions of detention.”

At the same time, he noted that these women are awaiting an extradition agreement or a special agreement between the governments of Tajikistan and Iraq, which would facilitate their return to Tajikistan. 

Recall, the fourth group of citizens of Tajikistan, totaling 47 people, including 15 women, 17 girls and 15 boys (13 families), was returned from Syria on a special flight on April 25.    

Khovar news agency says that during the period from 2019-2023, more than 300 Tajik women and children were repatriated home from Iraq and Syria. 

The first group reportedly included 89 children aged of 1 to 18 years, and the second group included 146 women and children.

Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin told reporters in Dushanbe on July 27, 2020 that some 500 Tajik nationals are currently living in camps in Syrian territories controlled by Kurds.  

“There are 286 women and children among them who want to return home.  “We are closely cooperating with the Syrian authorities in this direction,” the minister said. 

According to him, they are also closely cooperating with UNICEF and International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) in this direction.  

“However, the repatriation of Tajik women and children from Syria to Tajikistan has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Besides, there is no information about the number of our nationals who contracted the novel coronavirus in these camps,” the minister added.

According to data provided by the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan in 2020, some 1,900 people from Tajikistan have left for Iraq and Syria since 2014 to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group.  More than 1,700 of them have reportedly been put on the international wanted list.  Some 500 Tajiks were reportedly killed in armed conflicts in Middle East and more than 700 others were detained.  

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on March 12, 2019 that more than 100 people in total, including families with children, have returned from the conflict zone -- both before and after the amnesty was offered in 2015.

Some were convicted of being mercenaries or recruiting for foreign terrorist organizations.  Most, however, have reportedly reintegrated into society under the watchful eyes of authorities, including security services and neighborhood committees.

Tajik authorities in 2015 offered an amnesty to those who voluntarily returned and renounced violence, seeing it as an opportunity to warn citizens of the dangers of joining ranks with radical Islam.