Author: Purshottama Chakarvati

Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiraling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking. In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin Kahhorzoda revealed…

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Dubai (27/2) Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiralling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin…

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Berlin (29/2 – 30) Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russian advances could gain significant momentum by the summer unless their allies can increase the supply of ammunition, according to a person familiar with their analysis. Internal assessments of the situation on the battlefield from Kyiv are growing increasingly bleak as Ukrainian forces struggle to hold off Russian attacks while rationing the number of shells they can fire. Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said Thursday that mistakes by frontline commanders had compounded the problems facing Ukraine’s defense around Avdiivka, which was captured by Russian forces this month. Syrskyi said he’d sent in more…

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Berlin (2/3 – 62.50). Lt. Gen. Alfons Mais says the €100 billion committed by the government last year is insufficient. Meanwhile, an association representing soldiers says the Bundeswehr turnaround needs to speed up. Germany would have to spend more money on its armed forces if it wants it fully equipped, army chief Lieutenant General Alfons Mais said on Sunday. He told the German news agency, dpa, the €100 billion ($107 billion) to speed up the modernization of the armed forces promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz after Russia invaded Ukraine was not enough. Mais, caused a stir last year when he criticized what he described…

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Infighting over the succession and growing frustration in the regions could shatter the stability that the Tajik president has been building for so many years. Next year will mark thirty years of Emomali Rahmon’s presidency in Tajikistan, now the only country in Central Asia that has not seen a change of leadership since the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, there have been rumors of an imminent transition of power for a decade. The name of the successor is no secret: it’s Rahmon’s son, thirty-six-year-old Rustam Emomali. But there is no consensus within the president’s large family over the succession. Some of the…

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A year ago Germany deported to Tajikistan an activist from that country’s exiled opposition movement who had been living in Dortmund since 2009. What happened next is a shocking example of what can occur when Germany fails to uphold safeguards in its increased efforts to deport unsuccessful asylum seekers. The Bundestag this month gave police greater powers to carry out deportations. The activist, Abdullohi Shamsiddin, 33, was deported to Tajikistan on January 18 2023. He was detained on arrival by the security services. Two months later he was convicted of trying to overthrow the constitution and jailed for seven years. No credible…

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(EurActiv) — One of the larger advertisers in Bulgaria announced that it would stop “cooperation” with a news website singled out as “problematic” ahead of the publication on Tuesday (5 December) of a report according to which major global brands are sending $2.6 billion to misinformation websites each year. The report “Defunding Disinformation in the Balkans: How International Brands Support Russia’s Agenda” by Balkan Free Media Initiative, a Brussels-based NGO and Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (CRTA), a Belgrade-based civil society organisation, was made public on Tuesday. Advanced copies were sent to significant advertisers, which are mentioned in the research. The report…

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Berlin (06/11 – 58) UN Special Rapporteur of Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, has once again called on the authorities of Tajikistan to release imprisoned Tajik journalists and bloggers. Mary Lawlor posted on her social media account, formerly Twitter, that during a meeting with Tajikistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Jonibek Hikmat, in New York on October 24, she reiterated her call for the Tajik authorities to release the convicted human rights defenders and journalists, including Daler Imomali, Abdullo Gurbati, and Ulfatkhonim Mamadshoeva. Last year, in Tajikistan, eight journalists and bloggers were sentenced to various prison terms, ranging from 7…

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Toronto, Frankfurt (2/11 – 42) World media are jumping all over the conflagration in Gaza following the 7 October attack, killing 1400 Israelis and kidnapping several hundred others – followed by an all-too-predictable retaliatory response from Israel, with indiscriminate bombardment and gunfire into Gaza. The number dead and injured in the Palestinian zone will likely never be known but it is currently estimated at over 5,000 – many of whom are women and children caught in the crossfire. Is Hamas sorry about those who voted for them and support their cause being machine-gunned or trapped by crumbling concrete in a…

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London (07/11 – 71) For ten years now, the authorities of Tajikistan have been engaged in forced assimilation of the ethnic Pamiri people, giving away the heartlands to China for debts,” Orzu M. shared with RFI – Radio France Internationale is a French news and current affairs public radio station that broadcasts worldwide. RFI met with Orzu in Paris, sharing the fact that more and more Pamiris are leaving their native homes in Gorno-Badakhshan Mountainous Autonomous (GBAO) Region of Tajikistan; they are driven into exile by the persecution of the authorities, who are displacing indigenous peoples. RFI: How did it…

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