Dushanbe Hostel Residents Left Stranded

In a city where homelessness is already a problem, over 100 families in Dushanbe are being thrown out of the worker’s hostel where they live.

Dushanbe Hostel Residents Left Stranded

In a city where homelessness is already a problem, over 100 families in Dushanbe are being thrown out of the worker’s hostel where they live.

Saturday, 18 April, 2009
After a hostel that used to belong to the Dushanbe Refrigerator Factory was sold off, the new owner, Rustam Kholov, won a court order to evict the 117 families who live there.



Reporter Shoira Yusupova met residents facing forcible eviction, many of them women with children or pensioners who are ill able to afford to live anywhere else, and fear being put out to live on the street.



Marhamat Najmiddinova, 72, has lived here for 25 years and says her whole family used to work at the fridge factory.



“We don’t have money. I don’t have enough to pay 150 dollars [a month] for an apartment,” she said. “I get a [monthly] pension of 60 somonis. The authorities should be helping us but we are being evicted us. What an outrage if we have to sleep in the streets!”



Fifteen of the families sought legal assistance from Tajikistan’s Republican Bureau for Human Rights, but only four of them had enough documentation to make it worth bringing a case on their behalf.



Ibodullo Mirov, speaking on behalf of the owner Kholov, said there had been no option but to evict residents as the building was in a terrible state of repair and was unfit for habitation.



In addition, he alleged that many of those living in the hostel – now private property – had moved in as squatters.
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