This report was produced by the Counter Terrorism and Police Unit of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan and reflects the results of the focus groups research organised with the aim to understand the role of the police and the perception of the police within the community.
The conducted focus groups reflect the current security concerns in the communities Tajikistan wide. The main concerns from all focus groups are an omnipresent Government corruption, which includes but not limited to a corrupt Law Enforcement system. The disconnect between the police and the community is obvious, resulting in distrust and avoiding contacts with Law Enforcement agencies even when a crime occurred. This gap of rule of law creates a system, where the rich can buy the law and the poor are victimized no matter of guilty or not.
The statement “The corruption is not in the system, rather the corruption is the system” is indicative for a widespread corruption regulating systems of bribes, which impacts the day to day life in all aspects of society. Also the return of migrant workers and violent extremism has to be considered as prime concern amongst citizens of Tajikistan. The lack of accountability from Law Enforcement agencies towards the citizens and a high unemployment rate is supporting the recruitment of often very young people in Tajikistan by radical groups. Interestingly, there was consensus in the focus groups amongst all different participants (disregarding their age, gender and status) in their opinion about the abovementioned security concerns.