While many people in Tajikistan are unhappy about the country's dire economic situation and political leadership, public protest is rare in the country. The fear of inevitable punishment by the state, the weakness of political opposition, and the memories of the 1992-1997 civil war make the likelihood of mass protest low. In this environment, social media has emerged as the main space where disillusioned Tajikistanis voice their anger and disagreement with the authorities.
Sarafrozi Olamafruz has recently posted [ru] an image on Facebook which reflects, rather ironically, the nature of protest in the country. The title of the image is “How people voice their discontent with the authorities”. The two images on the top show mass public protests in Ukraine (left) and Kyrgyzstan (right). The two images on the bottom show how people protest in Russia (left) and Tajikistan (right). The Russian man is talking back to a TV-set. The Tajikistani man is shouting angrily at his computer, thus taking his discontent online.