On the afternoon of August 3, police officers and other officials descended on Shohmansur bazaar in Dushanbe. Over the course of several hours, the officials circulated around explaining to female traders, in expansive detail, how they should dress.
In Tajikistan, authorities are now frowning upon clothing that is either too conservative or too revealing.
“I don’t wear Arabic-style clothing, just a shawl that covers my neck. I am not young. But today they came and told us to take it off. Either that or we will have to pay a fine or face being fired,” one 60-year-old vendor told EurasiaNet.org on condition of anonymity in the wake of the inspections.
When authorities made their rounds at the bazaar, they cited regulations that they claimed laid down the rules for proper attire in public places. In reality, however, no such formal rules exist, although it seems there are plans to create them. All the same, officials warned violators that they faced stiff fines and other consequences.
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