Media Blog

Tajikistan Launches Campaign Against Witchcraft

The last bastion of witchery is set to fall?

DUSHANBE (Reuters, Dec. 13) – Tajikistan is launching a crackdown on witchcraft and fortune-telling as part of an anti-poverty drive after earlier banning lavish weddings and expensive funerals.
Occultism is on the rise in Muslim Tajikistan. It is the poorest nation in ex-Soviet Central Asia, borders Afghanistan and was ravaged by a 1992-97 civil war. Queues to see sorcerers are often longer than those for regular doctors.
“Those indulging in sorcery and fortune-telling shall be fined between 30 and 40 times the minimum monthly wage (85 to 113 pounds),” says the text of a draft law backed by the lower chamber of the Tajik parliament on Wednesday and obtained by Reuters.
The draft law has to be passed by the upper house and signed by President Imomali Rakhmon to become law. But this is widely seen as a formality.

Tom Gross — Tom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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