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Clinton Raises Concern About Tajikistan Religious, Media Freedom

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Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she raised U.S. concern about religious and media freedom in Tajikistan.

“We encouraged the Tajik government to take concrete steps” toward greater civil and religious freedom, she said at a press conference after meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.

Restricting religious expression “could build up discontent,” she said, referring to Tajik rules against Muslims wearing veils or beards.

“We don’t want to do anything to breed extremism,” she said, adding that she had urged the Tajik leaders to rethink “any restrictions going forward, because we think they could increase sympathy for extremist views.”

and the worry that restricting religion may stoke extremism.

To contact the reporter on this story: Indira Lakshmanan at in Dushanbe, Tajikistan or ilakshmanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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