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Tajik Leader Releases Multi-DVD Box Set ... On Himself

The box set contains 27 DVDs.
Just in time for the holidays, state movie producer Tajikkino has released a multi-DVD collection of documentaries on Emomali Rahmon's reign as Tajikistan's president over the last 20 years.

Each year of Rahmon's presidency is detailed on a separate disk, 20 in all, with the remaining eight disks of the collection dedicated to Rahmon's role in developing various sectors of the country.

Among those are films such as "Emomali Rahmon and Food Security" and "Emomali Rahmon and Energy Independence."

The collection is available at select Dushanbe stores and bazaar stalls at a reported price of 270 somoni (about $57), or nearly the average monthly salary in Tajikistan.

Dushanbe vendor Nasim Zokirov told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that representatives of Tajikkino brought the DVDs to vendors and requested they be put on sale. "We were forced to buy them…they took the money [the cost of the DVDs] in advance," Zokirov said.

Zokirov lamented that "customers don't seem interested in this item."

Tajikkino denied reports that vendors were forced to purchase the DVD collection and sell it to the public.

A representative of the state-owned film company, who did not want his name revealed, said the sale price should actually be 180 somoni (some $38).

Little Interest

RFE/RL's Tajik Service asked about sales of the Rahmon collection at two stores in downtown Dushanbe where merchants said interest was low and that government officials seemed to be the main customers.

Most people on the street said they wouldn’t take the box set if it were given to them.

One Dushanbe resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was asked if he would buy the new collection on Rahmon's time as Tajik leader.

"We see him every day on television, I don’t understand why there is a need to sell disks about him," the man said.

The release of the Rahmon collection comes as Tajikistan has taken steps to block 131 websites by December 24.

The head of Tajikistan's Association of Internet Providers, Asomuddin Atoev, said the Tajik authorities sent such instructions on December 21.

Most of those websites to be blocked are dedicated to music and videos.

But Russian news agencies have reported that social networks such as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki will also be blocked as well as Twitter and Tajikistan's version of YouTube,

Facebook, which was temporarily blocked starting at the end of November, will reportedly remain accessible.

The Tajik authorities have not said why the sites are to be blocked.

Written by Bruce Pannier with reporting by RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Interfax, and