Tajikistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic. Most of Tajikistan's population belongs to the Tajik ethnic group, who share culture and history with the Iranian peoples and speak the Persian language. After independence (1991) Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Emomali Rahmonov came to power in 1992, and continues to rule to this day. However, he has been accused of ethnic cleansing during the civil war. Since the end of the war, newly-established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Trade in commodities such as cotton and aluminum wire has contributed greatly to this steady improvement, but lack of natural resources (besides hydroelectric power and strategic location) has hampered its economic recovery. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks, American, Indian and French troops have also been stationed in the country.
Regarding homosexuality, there are no laws against homosexuality in Tajikistan. However it is a very conservative country and openly gay people face prejudice and threats. As a result most live in fear and follow tradition to conform and make a family with kids.
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