Police in the former Soviet nation of Tajikistan shaved more than 12,800 men's beards last year because they were "too long," Radio Liberty reported Wednesday, citing a regional police chief.
Authorities also shut down more than 160 sites selling traditional Muslim clothing, the south-west Khatlon region's police chief, Bahrom Sharifzoda, was quoted as telling a press conference.
Tajikistan's secular leadership has long prevented regular muslims of practicing their religion.
In September, Tajikistan's Supreme Court banned the country's Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan after months of violence.
Also in September, the United States temporarily closed its embassy in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, amid deadly clashes between armed gunmen and police.
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