DUSHANBE -- Tajik men will be able to legally avoid serving their mandatory two-year stint in the country's armed forces by paying a fee to the Defense Ministry.
A government resolution enforcing legislation allowing Tajik men between the ages of 18 and 27 to pay the equivalent of $2,200 in order to avoid conscription was made public on August 16.
The new regulations were approved by lawmakers earlier this year.
Those who choose to pay the fee will still have to go through a one-month military training session but avoid the full two-year service requirement.
According to the new regulation, men who graduate from universities that offer military training in addition to their regular studies will be granted officer ranks only if they serve at least one year in the armed forces. Until now, such officer ranks were awarded immediately after graduation.
The new regulation also bans those who did not serve in the army from working as officials in the prosecutor’s offices, courts, customs, anti-corruption agencies, and governmental executive entities.
Tajikistan inherited a Soviet-era conscription system, according to which every male between 18-27 years of age must serve in the army for two years. Conscription takes place every spring and fall.
In recent years, Tajik men have been trying to avoid army service due to the conditions and hazing faced by young conscripts, which prompted the authorities to organize special raids to round up men who did not fulfill their duty and force them into service. That policy sparked a public outcry and sharp criticism by human rights defenders.