Central Asia news
30.01.2014 12:46 msk
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.
06.12.2013 23:45 msk
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.
29.11.2013 09:14 msk
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.
25.11.2013 21:42 msk
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.
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