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Majlis Podcast: Handshakes, Hugs, And Punches As Tajik Government, Opposition Meet


Some Tajik officials came a bit too close to the opposition for their liking.

Representatives of the Tajik government and members of banned Tajik opposition groups came to the OSCE's annual Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM) in Warsaw this last week.

The forum provided both sides an opportunity to air their grievances in a neutral setting, but importantly this year, the two sides actually met face-to-face and spoke with one another. There were moments of friendship and one moment of violence when a member of the government was caught on video punching an activist in the face.

RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderated a discussion on what happened between the Tajik groups in Warsaw and what the prospects might be for a rapprochement.

All the guests on this Majlis Podcast were speaking from Warsaw, where they were attending the HDIM.

Mahmudjon Faizrahmon, spokesman for the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, a party banned in Tajikistan since 2015, joined in the discussion. Independent Tajik journalist Hamyara Bakhtiyar, who has written for such media outlets as Anadolu Ajansi, CabarAsia, Asia-Plus, and Ozodagon, participated. Our longtime Majlis friend Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, was back to give us his insight on what happened between the Tajiks at the HDIM. I was not at this year's HDIM, but I threw in my two cents on events leading up to the meetings in Warsaw.

(Note: After we recorded the podcast, there were reports that the Tajik government had agreed to negotiations with the opposition.)

Majlis Podcast: Prospects For Dialogue In Tajikistan
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change. Content will draw on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad. The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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