Tajikistan: Opposition Figure Given 17 Years

A Dushanbe court sentenced leading civil activist Umedjon Solehov to a prison term of 17 years in absentia for “insulting the president,” among other charges. The Ismoili Somoni court handed down the sentenced after Solehov purportedly appeared in a video during a Moscow rally in which he criticized Tajik president Emomali Rahmon and called for his…

Power and Change in the New Great Game: An Interview with Alexander Cooley

Dr. Alexander Cooley is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, as well as Deputy Director for Social Sciences Programming at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. Professor Cooley has researched and written extensively on the impact of external actors on the Former Soviet Union, and is the author of Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great…

Tajikistan: Chinese investors pivot from Kyrgyzstan

The most underdeveloped economies of Central Asia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, both have relied heavily on Chinese investment but throughout 2014 Chinese FDI throughout Kyrgyzstan has dropped some 35%. The main influencing factors have been the decision to join the EEU and the constantly changing political leadership in Bishkek. Although some good news has come out…

Tajikistan Secures Financing for CASA-1000

Regional hydroelectricity project CASA-1000 has secured another leg of financing. Tajikistan, one of the proposed deal’s signatories, had struggled for several months to pay for power transmission lines that would traverse its territory, stifling the deal and casting doubt on the project’s ultimate success. Several international bodies, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,…

Tajikistan: ADB Allocates Additional $65mn in Funding

The Asian Development Bank, a regional financial organization whose investment goals include regional infrastructure, transport and energy projects, has given the green light to its first private sector loan in Tajikistan. The regional body will allocate more than $11mn USD to acquire a ten percent share in Access Bank Tajikistan, a local financial institution that…

Tajikistan’s Role in Central Asia: An Interview with John Heathershaw

Dr. John Heathershaw is currently Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Exeter’s Centre of Advanced International Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and has held teaching or research positions at LSE, the American University in Central Asia, and King’s College London. Professor Heathershaw has conducted extensive research on Tajikistan as…

Tajikistan: Sodiqov Back in Canada, to Continue Research

Tajik national and Ph.D. student at the University of Exeter Alexander Sodiqov was recently released by Tajik authorities and has successfully returned to Canada, where he is expected to continue his doctoral studies. Sodiqov, who had been researching separatist groups in the restive Tajik autonomous region of Gomo-Badakhstan, was detained on charges of sedition and…

EBRD Commits $50 Million to Tajik Hyrdropower Plant

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development has committed $50m to assist in funding the modernization of Tajikistan’s Qairokkum hydroelectric plant. The plant, a 1957 holdover from the Soviet era, is currently the only facility that generates electricity for Tajikistan’s northern provinces, which currently hosts about 500,000 homes. The funds allocated to the project by…

Tajik researcher freed after 40 days in captivity

Tajik researcher and academic Aleksandr Sodiqov has been released by Tajik government authorities after nearly 40 days in captivity in Dushanbe. Sodiqov had been investigating unrest in Tajikistan’s restive Badakhshan province, was detained with little explanation, and charges of treason had been levied against him for speaking to members of opposition there. Sodiqov had been…