16 april 2014

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan: The Karimov regime is still firm

Uzbekistan: The Karimov regime is still firm

20.02.2014 11:05 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Uzbekistan

On Monday, three closest allies of Gulnara Karimova were forcibly driven to the office of the Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan. These people are close to both her body and pocket, including her common-law husband, who is registered as the owner of her business assets in Uzbekistan and abroad. Such events are unfolding around the Uzbek president’s elder daughter, whose activities are closely investigated into and scrutinized by local investigation bodies since last fall. While some see the weakening regime’s inability to stop these troubles, I look at the situation from a different angle. The destruction of the shadow business empire Gulnara Karimova built does not indicate her father, the president of Uzbekistan, is growing weak; on the contrary, this is a sign of his might.

Uzbekistan: Anti-Gay Law Strikes Terror Into Gay People, but Enriches the Police (18+)

Uzbekistan: Anti-Gay Law Strikes Terror Into Gay People, but Enriches the Police (18+)

07.02.2014 17:15 msk Human Rights Interview Uzbekistan

The topic of homosexuality, along with domestic violence, is tabooed in the press and public discourse in Uzbekistan. Moreover, the Central Asian state is among the remaining few countries where same-sex intercourse is punishable by a harsh prison sentence. Our Tashkent-based correspondent reports on how this law is enforced, based on first-hand experiences of gay people to whom he spoke.

Steve Swerdlow: Czech President must cancel Islam Karimov’s visit to Prague

Steve Swerdlow: Czech President must cancel Islam Karimov’s visit to Prague

06.02.2014 23:13 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Uzbekistan

The president of Uzbekistan will pay a two-day visit to Prague on 21 Feb 2014. Human rights activists in Europe are preparing to greet Islam Karimov with protest rallies: Mutabar Tajibayeva, the head of the Fiery Hearts Club, promises that they will firmly demand Karimov free all political prisoners, cease tortures of detainees and inmates, allow an international inquiry into the Andijan events, ensure conditions for NGO activities, and guarantee the freedom of speech. Fergana interviewed Steve Swerdlow, a representative of Human Rights Watch, about President Karimov’s upcoming visit to Europe.

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOURNALISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS OF RUSSIA AND UKRAINE, TO ALL THEIR COLLEAGUES WORLDWIDE

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOURNALISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS OF RUSSIA AND UKRAINE, TO ALL THEIR COLLEAGUES WORLDWIDE

30.01.2014 12:46 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Last night, on Jan. 29, six journalists, photographers and activists have been detained by Uzbek police and taken to an unknown location in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Their names are Umida Akhmedova, Timur Karpov, Alexei Ulko, Ashot Danielyan, Ilgar Gasymov and Gulsum Osmanova. All the detained are our fiends and colleagues, participants of a rally held on Jan. 27 in Tashkent in support of the Euromaidan, an ongoing series of street protests in Ukraine. On that day, they held a brief protest near the Ukrainian embassy building and submitted a petition in support of the Euromaidan in which they urged the government of Prime Minister Azarov to step down (which, in fact, happened in a day). They expressed their support to the people of Ukraine that “rallied against the inhuman, corrupt and totalitarian regime of President Viktor Yanykovych,” according to their petition. They condemned the use of force to the protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and other Ukrainian cities and the reluctance of Ukrainian authorities to start a constructive dialogue with political opposition and the public movement at the Maidan.

Uzbekistan: Non Format club photos censored (photo, video)

Uzbekistan: Non Format club photos censored (photo, video)

28.01.2014 10:18 msk Human Rights Arts Uzbekistan

The Non Format photographers club launched the Odno Prostranstvo (One Space) exhibition at the House of Photography in Tashkent on 25 Jan 2014. Initially, 12 photo-artists were to participate, but the works of two were prohibited from being displayed at the very last moment; a number of other artists’ works were partially covered with blank sheets of paper. Chairman of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan Akmal Nur and Deputy Chairman Ravshan Mirtajiyev have personally censored said works.

IT break, or Why Migrants Need Internet

IT break, or Why Migrants Need Internet

19.01.2014 11:15 msk Human Rights Migration Internet Russia Uzbekistan

The Sankt-Peterburg Center for Independent Sociological Research issued a report on communicative strategies and information resources, which Uzbek migrants in Russia mostly use. The report is entitled “Uzbek Migrants in Russia: Information Space and Social Communications” and is based on a research held between August 2011 and February 2012. The research in question was held in three Russian cities—Sankt-Peterburg, Pskov, and Kazan, and in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. A total of 46 migrants were interviewed (13 in Kazan, 12 in Pskov, nine in Sankt-Peterburg, and 12 in Samarkand) and editors of three mass media outlets targeting migrants from Central Asia were interviewed.

Uzbek prisoned writers’ books issued in UK

17.01.2014 23:48 msk Arts Uzbekistan

СЮДА
Two books of four Uzbek writers, who are currently or were previously jailed in Uzbekistan for political motives, are published in London, the UK. The books include the prose of Mamadali Makhmudov, who writes under Evril Turan penname and was released after 17 years of imprisonment in 2013, and of Emin Usman, who died in custody of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2001; the second book includes poems by Dilmurad Sayid, a still imprisoned well known journalist and a human rights activits, and of Khayrullah Khamidov, a sportscaster and an author of religious and spiritual radio shows.

A former inmate in Uzbekistan: Everything in penitentiaries is aimed at destroying humans

A former inmate in Uzbekistan: Everything in penitentiaries is aimed at destroying humans

15.01.2014 11:32 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Nematjon Siddikov was persecuted several times for his human rights advocacy. For his activism in the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (HRAU), the Fergana Region resident was threatened with death and arson at his house; his family members were assaulted by hired hooligans several times; unknown people threw stones at his house. A year ago, on February 5, 2013, about a hundred people arrived at the Siddikovs family house in several vehicles and threw stones at his house, beat his family members, and later trumped up charges against the head of family and his three sons. Several days prior to this attack, Mr. Siddikov and his sons informed the local authorities about a criminal group engaged in contraband across the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border.

Gulnara Karimova: “I am not using the word ‘democracy,’ mind you!”

Gulnara Karimova: “I am not using the word ‘democracy,’ mind you!”

04.01.2014 22:53 msk Analytics Politics Uzbekistan

What would happen if the “war” between the Uzbek secret services and the president’s elder daughter ends with Gulnara Karimova’s victory? Head of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights Umida Niyazova maintains that such an outcome would certainly not lead to an alteration of the country’s authority system, which Islam Karimov shaped and consolidated.

Ex-Osh Mayor certain in victory at reelection

Ex-Osh Mayor certain in victory at reelection

17.12.2013 08:29 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

On 4 Dec 2013, the former mayor of the Kyrgyz capital, Isa Omurkulov, “voluntarily resigned” from his post; his counterpart in Osh was dismissed from post the very next day. The two events stirred a lot of emotions in the two largest Kyrgyz cities. Elections for the vacant positions are scheduled for January 2014. The issue of just who will preside in the Osh city hall is not only a pressing one for Osh resident, but it is also a sensitive one for the central authorities in this mountainous country. Obviously, Bishkek wants to have “a reliable handyman” in Osh, not a rebel—an unconditionally complying official, in short. However, one could perhaps be sure that opposition-minded Melisbek Myrzakmatov will recapture his former chair and will be a new, yet old head of the city.

Family Ties: What Enriches Uzbekistan Secret Police Chief’s Family

Family Ties: What Enriches Uzbekistan Secret Police Chief’s Family

11.12.2013 00:35 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Uzbekistan

First daughter Gulnara Karimova’s Twitter updates are the only insight into certain recent events in Uzbekistan. The closure of her charity, Forum Fund, suspension of her TV and radio stations’ licenses, and her hysterics on Twitter in response to those developments point to how powerful Uzbekistan’s National Security Service (NSS) and its chief, Rustam Inoyatov, are.

Uzbekistan: Erk Party… Is there such a party?

Uzbekistan: Erk Party… Is there such a party?

09.12.2013 09:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

The six assembly of the Erk party was scheduled in Tashkent for 3 Dec 2013. But it was not meant to happen: a local café, the venue point for participants, was suddenly closed on that day due to gas cutoff while many regional delegates were prevented from reaching Tashkent. Why are the authorities so afraid of the Erk Party, whose nominee, Muhammad Salih, ran for president in 1991? What kind of party is it anyway, and what issues was the assembly to discuss? Our observer in Tashkent sheds light on such matters in the article below.

Uzbekistan targets NGOs’ finances

Uzbekistan targets NGOs’ finances

06.12.2013 23:45 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Fergana learned that Uzbek authorities launched mass inspections of non-governmental non- profit organizations in Uzbekistan. The inspection teams include all the controlling bodies—the ministry of justices, tax agencies and other relevant government arms. One can only speculate as to the causes of this heightened interest the government is displaying in regards with NGOs: many say the reason is the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2014 and the presidential elections in 2015. Or, possibly, the inspections are unleashed in connection with the closure of the Fund Forum, which belonged to Gulnara Karimova; after all, many NGOs received financial assistance from it. Or, possibly, it is one of the last nails in the coffin, so to speak: the authorities are trying to intimated NGOs to step up its control and to force them into curbing contacts with foreign and international organizations. As a reminder, the Uzbek National TV and Radio Company employees are prohibited from traveling abroad since recently, even during vacation.

Uzbek Journalist Muhammad Bekjan Awarded Press Freedom International Award after 15 Years of Imprisonment…

Uzbek Journalist Muhammad Bekjan Awarded Press Freedom International Award after 15 Years of Imprisonment…

29.11.2013 09:14 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 27 Nov 2013, Muhammad Bekjan, an imprisoned Uzbek journalist, was awarded the annual award of the Freedom of Press instituted by the Reporters Without Borders (RWB). The award has been issued since 1992, and one journalist and one news media outlet can be awarded it, if judges find they made a significant contribution to the protection and development of freedom of the press. The awarding ceremony is traditionally held in Paris, where the RWB has its main office, but this year ceremony was held in Strasburg as part of events the RWB organized during the Global Forum of Democracy of the European Council. The head of the Association of Human Rights in Central Asia, Nadejda Atayeva, received the award in Mr. Bekjan’s stead. Mr. Bekjan has been imprisoned for 15 years in a prison in Zarafshan City in Navoi Region. He is serving time for crimes he did not commit and no attempts undertaken by international organizations to release him yielded results. On the contrary, Mr. Bekjan’s prison term was extended in 2011; apparently he and his family have lost any hope to see him free again.

Uzbekistan: Veteran US NGO Worker Paralyzed by Stroke Risks Ending Up on Streets of Tashkent

Uzbekistan: Veteran US NGO Worker Paralyzed by Stroke Risks Ending Up on Streets of Tashkent

25.11.2013 21:42 msk Business Politics Uzbekistan

Richard Glaub, a US citizen who worked as director of the National Democratic Institute in Uzbekistan for six years, now lives in Tashkent and is in a desperate, bedridden state. And there is a risk that by mid-December, he and his wife could end up on the street, without any money or medical assistance. “On November 12, 2012, Richard was brought down by a stroke, which left him paralyzed,” says his wife, Lidiya Glaub. “Ever since then, Richard has been trapped in bed and the burden of taking care of him has fallen upon me, even though [I have health problems too].” Lidiya Glaub says she and her husband lived a happy married life for 11 years. Now she is caring for her helpless 61-year spouse, living in a rented apartment, the lease of which ends on December 15.

Other news

Media headlines

Carnegie.Ru Will the Crimean Tatars Become Russia’s Headache?, 07.04.2014

Eurasianet Kazakhstan: Ex-Premier Makes Comeback in Choreographed Reshuffle, 03.04.2014

Guardian Sardar Ahmad: a courageous journalist who delivered exceptional coverage, 22.03.2014

Terror revisits Afghanistan Frontier Post, 21.03.2014

Carnegie.Ru The Russian Intervention in Crimea: Erdogan’s Dilemma, 15.03.2014

CNN Canada pulls out of Kabul as NATO winds down Afghan operations, 14.03.2014

TOL A Lesson in Uzbek for Milos Zeman, 13.03.2014

Al Jazeera The Long Arm of the Dictator, 13.03.2014

IWPR In Central Asia, Caution and Concern on Ukraine, 13.03.2014

Central Asia Online IMU units hide out in Badakhshan Province, 12.03.2014

Al Jazeera Turkish teen injured in protest dies, 11.03.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan’s Dictator Micromanages Officials’ Travel, 11.03.2014

The News York Times Frustration With Afghanistan, 05.03.2014

Al Jazeera Afghanistan elections: The myth and reality about ethnic divides, 04.03.2014

Washington Post 5 questions on Xinjiang separatists, Uighurs and the knife attacks at Chinese train station, 03.03.2014

Eurasianet Report: Military Aid To Central Asia Having Little Effect, 01.03.2014

Politico Magazine The Narcostate, 28.02.2014

EUCAM Is the EU downscaling political engagement in Central Asia?, 28.02.2014

US Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, 28.02.2014

Foreign Policy Turkey's Dirty Money, 28.02.2014

Politico Magazine The Muslim Democracy, 27.02.2014

Financial Times Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now the source of Turkey’s problems, 27.02.2014

Al Jazeera Turkish opposition holds protest rallies, 27.02.2014

The News York Times Moderate Islam? Look to Central Asia, 26.02.2014

CPJ Kazakh court shuts down another critical newspaper, 26.02.2014

Al Jazeera China charges Uighur academic with separatism, 26.02.2014

TOL An Uzbek Writer’s Tunnel Vision of Moscow, 23.02.2014

Silk Road Reporters Zardaly: Locked in the mountains, 19.02.2014

RIAN Associates of Uzbekistan's First Daughter Facing Prosecution, 18.02.2014

RFE/RL Czech President Wants New Date For Uzbek Visit, 17.02.2014

RedOrbit Hope For Water In Aral Sea Basin Found In NASA Data, 17.02.2014

The Economist A bill imposing restrictions on the internet presents Turkey’s president with a dilemma, 14.02.2014

Eurasianet After Cloning Facebook, Uzbekistan Launches Twitter Imitation, 14.02.2014

LA Review of Books Kyrgyzstan and the Uzbeks by Max de Haldevang, 13.02.2014

RFE/RL Czech President Defends Right To Host Uzbekistan's Karimov, 11.02.2014

VOA Jailed Uzbek Tests U.S. Surveillance Law, 11.02.2014

RFE/RL Uzbek Girl Grows Up In The Shadow Of HIV, 09.02.2014

CNN U.S. 'failed' in Afghan narcotics fight, 04.02.2014

Fox Sports Heroin smuggler who was banned from Sydney Games and his key role in securing Sochi votes, 02.02.2014

Foreign Policy Three Myths About the Taliban, 02.02.2014

IWPR Uzbekistan's Feuding Family Elite, 31.01.2014

ICG Central Asia: A Dangerous Thirst, 30.01.2014

Global Post Russia detains Frenchman wanted by Uzbekistan, 29.01.2014

RFE/RL Commentary: Who's Coming To Prague Castle For Dinner?, 29.01.2014

Indian Express The Xinjiang factor, 28.01.2014

DAWN Turkey launches new mass purge of police and judiciary, 23.01.2014

Nation and World Turkish police break up violent Internet protest, 22.01.2014

Global Post Istanbul protest for murdered Turkish Armenian journalist, 19.01.2014

Independent Man tortured for Britain finds asylum – in the US , 19.01.2014

Hurriyet Turkey: Protesters to march against law curbing Internet, 18.01.2014

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