Tajikistan: Where all students are banned from driving

Police in Tajikistan are cracking down on students for the crime of driving to lectures, it's reported.

Thirteen students were caught behind the wheel in the capital, Dushanbe, and the education ministry will be informed of their wrongdoing, says private news agency Asia Plus. The crackdown appears to form part of the government's strategy to reduce the number of accidents involving inexperienced drivers. In a speech this year, President Emomali Rahmon blamed young drivers for causing most crashes in the Central Asian republic. He also said more than 100 students have been caught driving to university since 2012.

Human rights watchdog Khronika Turkmenistana has previously described some students having to sign a pledge to give up driving altogether, or face expulsion. The ban was first imposed in 2007, as part of a campaign to combat crime and inequality. It saw mobile phones, lavish graduation parties, "brash" clothes and jewellery banished from Tajik schools and universities. One government official reportedly suggested the parties often ended in brawls and - like mobile phones - were unaffordable to many. Tajikistan remains among the world's poorest countries. According to the World Bank, there were 29 cars per 1,000 people there in 2010.

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