A resident of Khorog, the administrative center of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, received a prison term for draft evasion.
In accordance with the verdict of the court of the city of Khorog, Sorbon Komilov was sentenced to one year in a penal colony for “intentional evasion of conscription for military service and failure to appear at the military commissariat on the receipt of a summons without good reason.”
We were not able to find out when the court verdict was announced, but the Prosecutor General’s Office of Tajikistan announced this on April 1, the very first day of the spring conscription campaign.
In Tajikistan, fixed-term military service is compulsory, and evasion from military service is punishable.
The criminal case against a young man of draft age was considered by the prosecutor’s office of the city of Khorog under article 343 part 1 (avoidance of military service) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan, which provides for a fine in the amount of 500 to 1 thousand minimum wages or imprisonment for up to two years .
The country’s Prosecutor General’s Office noted that Sorbon Komilov was summoned to the military commissariat for a medical examination in March 2022, but on April 1 of the same year he did not appear at the military registration and enlistment office “without good reason.”
“Having received a summons from the military commissariat and repeated invitations from the relevant structures, he deliberately evaded conscription for military service,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Why the young man evaded military service is unknown.
According to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Tajikistan, in 2022 alone, 108 young men were brought to justice for evading military service.
According to human rights activists, the lack of proper conditions for service, ill-treatment of soldiers and hazing, which sometimes lead to the death and injury of military personnel, are among the main reasons for the reluctance of young people to serve in the Tajik army. The Government of Tajikistan, in a report sent to the UN Human Rights Committee, reported that from 2019 to 2021. More than 100 soldiers died mainly due to hazing in the army.
The government also acknowledged that, despite ongoing efforts to eradicate hazing and hazing in military units, this phenomenon and its shelter by officers still exists. For three years, 639 Tajik officers and commanders were brought to criminal or disciplinary responsibility for hiding crimes in military units.
But at the same time, the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan reports an improvement in the situation in the army and an increase in the number of volunteers.
Meanwhile, on April 1, the spring conscription began in the country. This year, citizens born in 1996-2005 are called up for military service.
Today, the national news agency “Khovar” reported on the ceremonial events in honor of the Day of the conscript, timed to coincide with the beginning of the spring conscription of young people into the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tatarstan.
According to the publication, on the first day of conscription, 40 civil servants of the Rasht region sent their sons to the army. It is also reported that several districts, including Sangvor, Lakhsh, Tajikabad and Nurabad, fully complied with the call-up plan on the first day of the campaign.
It is also reported that the Vorukh jamoat in the city of Isfara was the first to fulfill the conscription plan. Meanwhile, in recent days, many residents of several jamoats of Isfara have told Radio Ozodi about increased pressure on the parents of conscripts to send their sons to military service.
On March 29, several residents of the Surkh jamoat in Isfara complained that the local authorities cut off electricity for several days in most residential buildings in one of the villages. According to them, the representative of the jamoat said that this was done in response to the evasion of young residents from military service.
It was also reported that at a meeting in the village of Sarob, residents were warned that if a certain number of young people were not sent to military service by Monday, the local authorities would close the village mosque. Representatives of the Jamoat Surkh, in an interview with Radio Ozodi, denied these allegations of the residents.
Users of Radio Ozodi also report other ways of forcing young people to serve in the army. Residents complain that parents and relatives of young men of military age are being pressured to comply with the draft plan. To do this, they are forced to return their sons from labor migration and send them to serve in the army.