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Tajikistan Amends Criminal Code To Address Nationals Fighting Abroad

The Tajik parliament has introduced a new clause into the country's Criminal Code, according to which Tajiks will face criminal persecution for taking part in military conflicts abroad.

According to the new amendment, Tajik citizens who participate in the activities of armed groups abroad would face trial and their punishment could not exceed that for similar crimes outlined by legislation in the countries they fought in.

Tajikistan’s Deputy Justice Minister Abdumanon Holiqov told RFE/RL that the bill was adopted in an effort to curb the flow of Tajik citizens to Syria, where they have joined the Islamic insurgency.

Hundreds of Central Asians, including some 190 Tajik nationals, are believed to be in Syria, fighting alongside rebels battling troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

At least four Tajiks have been reported killed in the Syria conflict.