Wednesday, June 06, 2012 -
Tajikistan’s lower house of parliament approved on Wednesday amendments to existing law that will bar unauthorized relations with foreign religious organizations.
“Tajik religious societies and organizations will be fined between 1,200 and 1,600 somonis [between $252 and $336] for establishing international ties with foreign religious organizations without duly notifying the authorities,” the Interfax news agency reported First Deputy Chairman of the Governmental Committee for Religion Dzhumakhon Giyesov as saying
The amendments were made to the Code of Administrative Offenses.
“Propagandist and educational events conducted by religious organizations and persons on the grounds of the national general-educational institutions or art houses can entail a fine of up to 2,000 somonis [$419.50],” Giyesov said.
The amendments also force students who wish to study religion abroad to inform the authorities.
Proselytizing by foreign religious organizations is also prohibited.
Only members from opposition party Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) voted against the amendments.
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has waged a campaign against Tajik students studying in foreign religious schools since August 2010, when he publicly appealed to parents to force their children to return home.