25 september 2017
Central Asia news
September visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the United States intended to participate in the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, actually accommodated many important events for official Tashkent, diplomatic, economic and humanitarian. Somehow, this trip of the Uzbek leader over the ocean can be considered a landmark for the relations between the two countries, not only because the first president of the country, Islam Karimov had not been visiting the United States for about 15 years, but also because Mirziyoyev actually demonstrated that multi-vector foreign policy, about which his predecessor was endlessly telling but, in fact, usually following a single course changing it with enviable constancy.
Human rights defender Bahrom Khamroev was born in Uzbekistan, but since 1992 he lives in Russia. Working for the Moscow-based Memorial Centre Bahrom oversees issues related to the protection of the civil rights of fellow countrymen and migrant workers who have arrived from other Central Asia republics in Russia, in particular, trying to prevent them from forced deportation of them to their homeland.
The Football Federation of Uzbekistan (UF) repeats own history ignoring the numerous warnings of local and foreign specialists, as well as the demands of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), chose the authoritative way of national football management again. The federation conference in the Tashkent hotel "Radisson Blu" lasted only an hour and a half held on 12 September. The delegates elected Umidjon Ahmadjonov as the President Uzbek football federation on a non-alternative basis. The Tashkent city football federation nominated him.
“Krysha” (or “krisha”) in Russia means “roof” or “cover”. The term born in the 1990s when the rule of law was weak and racketeers protected vulnerable entrepreneurs from other gangsters for a fee or a share of its gain. Later, central or local government officials started "covering" business themselves. Historically, whenever crime bosses amass a particular influence in a society, they try to legalise themselves – through business by buying up shares in large firms under a false name, or through politics by standing for public office or holding positions in the bureaucracy. Same is in Kyrgyzstan.
On 12 September, the District Court in Bishkek sentenced journalist Zulpukar Sapanov to four years in prison finding him guilty of "inciting inter-religious hostility". Sapanov wrote and published the "Kydyr sanjyrasy" (literal translation - "Genealogy of the forefather Kydyr") book in which the author merely noted that once in the ancient times the Kyrgyz were not Muslims.
As Fergana previously reported, Interpol supposedly removed the names of the Uzbek opposition leader Muhammad Salih and his younger brother Maksud Bekzhan from its wanted list. Salih himself had talked about this to a BBC journalist. Fergana’s Editor-in-chief editor Daniil Kislov spoke to the poli-tician himself to get his own comment.
On 5 September, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Bishkek to sign the agreement on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. Many experts, including the leadership of both republics, are considering the first visit of the Uzbek president to Kyrgyzstan in 17 years as a sign of warming of bilateral relations. The delimitation and demarcation of 80 percent of the border are on the agenda. Skeptics point out that the treaty was prepared hastily and it is still unclear what specific sections of the border are disputed.
What do Russian theater, Uzbek poetry, public diplomacy and the U.S. State Department have in common? Please, meet the native of Tashkent, Ms. Elena Serebryanik-Bell, actress, choreographer, and interpreter - in the broadest sense of the word, since Elena, among other things, is perhaps the main practitioner of Uzbek dance and even more broadly, Uzbek culture, in the United States.
Exactly one year ago in Uzbekistan, a theatrical but rather false staging played under the title «Our president is alive and well». According to Fergana sources, the death of 78-year-old Islam Karimov from a stroke sustained two days earlier came on the day of 29 August 2016. Two days later, the official media assured that Karimov accepts congratulations on the Independence Day. However, it is not so important what day Karimov died on. The important thing is what is his legacy today in Uzbekistan. Finally, who is Islam Karimov? A great ruler or state criminal? A wise politician or an egoist ignoring someone else's opinion? A reformer or tyrant who strangled all the opportunities for economic growth of the country?
For the first time, the priest of the Orthodox parish is in the court charged with the violation of the law “On Religious Activities and Religious Associations.” In the village of Merke (Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan) on 14 August, Vladimir Vorontsov, the rector of the parish of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God Church, stood the first trial. An anonymous tip-off reported police that he, along with children from the Orthodox group of the weekend (Sunday school) and several parents conducted prayer meetings in the mountains.
The 19th Central Asia media conference named “Open Journalism in Central Asia” organised by the office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media will be held in Tashkent on 18-19 October 2017. It is expected that participants, “including journalists, representatives from governments, civil society organisations and academia from Central Asia and Mongolia along with international experts will discuss current challenges to media freedom in Central Asia and Mongolia” including “current trends in news media distribution and challenges related to the digital and increasingly mobile environment, and how to better safeguard media freedom whilst combatting hate speech,” as well as “the latest media freedom developments and best practices,” the OSCE website informs.
This month of June brought us a contradictory timeline. Some governments are gaining a popular weight among ordinary citizens, while others are ignoring a wider opinion and a common sense. Any outsider can be lured by honeyed promises, finely drawn charts, glittering buildings from the future. Find optimists and ruin them with a reality.
The President of Kyrgyzstan once again celebrates his victory. Almazbek Atambayev could manage to outdo his predecessors in his state post: he practically neutralised the opposition, divided civil and journalistic society, squeezed out dissenters from the country, he simply slandered the most “stubborn” media and human rights activists.
Dictator’s relatives. Nephew of late Islam Karimov granted refugee status in Ukraine escaping extradition to Uzbekistan