Tajikistan President signs parental responsibility law
Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon signed the law on holding parents responsible for their children's action and education, Asia-Plus reported.
The president also signed the laws requiring amendments to the laws on trade unions and holidays, the source said.
We will recall that the draft law on holding parents responsible for their children's action and education, submitted to the parliament by President Emomali Rahmon, was approved by the lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament on June 15 and members of Tajikistan's upper chamber (Majlisi Milli) of parliament unanimously seconded the law on July 21.
In a statement delivered in Vienna on Tajikistan's Parental Responsibility Law, Acting Political Counselor at the United States Mission to the OSCE, Patrick Connell, noted on June 23 that the law grants the state power to interfere in family life and includes a ban on youth participation in religious communities, with very limited exceptions. If the ban is signed into law, it would effectively deny the right to worship to millions of citizens of Tajikistan under the age of 18, Mr. Connell said.
Many believers in the country are critical of the parental responsibility law that bans children under 18 from worshipping in mosques, churches and other houses of worship.
In an interview with Radio Liberty's Tajik Service, Tajik prominent politician and religious leader Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda on June 17 criticized the parental responsibility law as being openly against the will of God. Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda told RFE/RL that under the legislation, parents whose underage children are caught attending prayers would be held legally responsible for allowing them to do so. Turajonzoda also criticized an amendment to Tajikistan's criminal code approved by parliament on June 15 that makes the opening of illegal religious schools punishable by between five and 12 years in jail. Previously, running such illegal schools incurred only an administrative punishment or a fine.
Some local experts say the main target of the parental responsibility law is the Muslim children that the government wants to ban from going to mosques in an attempt to prevent them from becoming radical Muslims.