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Students Readmitted To Tajik University With Head Scarves

A young Tajik woman in a hijab (file photo)

A young Tajik woman in a hijab (file photo)

DUSHANBE -- Eight women students expelled from Tajik State University for refusing to remove their head scarves have been readmitted, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The women all say they will continue to wear their head scarves, or hijab.

Gulnora Bobonazarova was expelled from the university's Journalism Department in May for wearing her traditional Islamic head scarf. Seven other female students were also later expelled.

Bobonazarova thanked RFE/RL for reporting on her expulsion, which she said led human rights organizations to react to her case and bring it greater attention.

Tajik State University's Deputy Rector Latofat Nazirova told RFE/RL that the decision to readmit Bobonazarova was based mainly on "an understanding of women's role in Tajik society."

But she added that the students should, by the same token, consider the government's ban on traditional Islamic clothing such as head scarves.