A quarter century ago, on August 19, 1991, a botched coup attempt began in Moscow, sparking a chain of events that led to the Soviet Union’s collapse. These days, Tajikistan is preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its independence with an unprecedented mass parade and a slew of amnesties. But the planned festivities aren’t a source of happy anticipation for many Tajiks.
For the anniversary celebration, President Emomali Rahmon’s administration is mobilizing legions of government workers to participate. Meanwhile, none of the 12,000 individuals slated for release from jail include any of the country’s burgeoning population of political prisoners.
The independence anniversary parade will take place in the center of Dushanbe on September 9 and will feature roughly 50,000 participants. Preparations are taking place under a veil of secrecy, but people at government departments being press-ganged into organizing activities have shared some details with EurasiaNet.org, speaking on condition of anonymity.
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