Plans to demolish some of the most popular landmarks in Tajikistan’s capital have sparked outrage. But with political repression intensifying, many residents in Dushanbe are being careful when expressing their feelings in public.
In a desperate bid to halt the destruction, hundreds of city residents have signed an online petition addressed to President Emomali Rahmon and Dushanbe Mayor Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloev, who is also speaker of parliament. The petition drew more than 600 signatures in the first day alone.
Sites in the Dushanbe authorities’ crosshairs include the Rokhat teahouse — a regular destination for visiting tourists — two theaters, the former presidential administration, the mayor’s office and the parliament building. The structures are all the handiwork of Soviet-era architects, many of whom were relocated to Tajikistan during the Second World War.
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