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Dushanbe Bans Use Of Russified Surnames For Ethnic Tajik Children

Tajik authorities have officially banned the issuance of new identification documents and birth certificates for ethnic Tajiks containing Russified surnames.

Deputy Chief of the Tajik Service for Registration of Citizens, Jaloliddin Rakhimov, told RFE/RL on April 29 that the new regulations were approved by President Emomali Rahmon in March.

According to the new law, ethnic Tajik children whose parents have surnames from the Soviet era that end with the Russian "ov" for men and "ova" for women will instead be given documents that use traditional Tajik suffixes -- "i," "zod," "zoda," "iyon," "far" or "pur."

The regulation applies to the birth certificates of newborn ethnic Tajiks or ethnic Tajik children receiving identification documents for the first time.

Adults who previously obtained documents with a Russified surname and choose to continue using that surname will be allowed to do so.

The law does not apply to children who are not ethnic Tajiks.

Tajikistan's president officially changed his Soviet-era Russified name, Emomali Sharipovich Rakhmonov, to Emomali Rahmon in 2007.

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