10 december 2016

Central Asia news

Poet to new Uzbek president: Let’s experiment!

Poet to new Uzbek president: Let’s experiment!

07.12.2016 09:27 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

“Dear Shavkat Miromonovich! I am addressing you in your capacity of a private individual, who has ended up in a complicated situation, which can be resolved in a dignifying manner. I believe that you are able to solve this problem independently. However, since the only source of power in the Republic—as the Constitution reads—is the people, I also firmly believe any form of INTERACTION—shall we say, in the form of an open letter like the one you are reading now—would make sense. I also firmly believe in the power of printed word.”

Apricot pits or Why was Yekaterina Sajneva deported from Uzbekistan

Apricot pits or Why was Yekaterina Sajneva deported from Uzbekistan

01.12.2016 10:39 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Russia Uzbekistan

A plane Russian citizen Yekaterian Sajneva was in landed in Uzbekistan on November 27. Ms Sajneva is a journalist for the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper, who has been in Uzbekistan several times. But this time Yekaterina was travelling in Uzbekistan for personal reasons. She was detained on the third day of her visit and deported several hours thereafter back to Russia “for violating the rules of sojourn.” Yekaterina told the details of how everything unfolded in an interview with Fergana Chief Editor Daniil Kislov.

Radio Liberty: “We hope Tajik authorities understand their mistake and reinstate our journalists’ accreditation”

Radio Liberty: “We hope Tajik authorities understand their mistake and reinstate our journalists’ accreditation”

29.11.2016 09:36 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

Late last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan revoked the accreditations of six journalists of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) based in Dushanbe. The exterior ministry provided no comments on the decision. However, the journalists’ accreditation was revoked after RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported on a new appointment for Rukshona Rakhmonova, President Emomali Rakhmon’s daughter. RFE/RL Director of Communications Joanna Levison commented on the situation, on why did disagreeable journalist were “punished” and how the Dushanbe bureau is planning to continue its work in an interview with Fergana.

Uzbekistan: Stop punitive psychiatry on Jamshid Karimov!

Uzbekistan: Stop punitive psychiatry on Jamshid Karimov!

25.11.2016 09:14 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Independent journalist Jamshid Karimov has been forcibly and secretly contained in a psychiatry hospital in Samarkand since January 2012. At the orders of the ruling elite in Tashkent, the doctors there prevent any information on the journalist’s health from circulating; Mr Karimov is kept in complete isolation from the outer world and only allowed to rarely see his daughter. It is obvious that he is no danger to society and should not be confined for such a long period to a closed ward in a hospital. Jamshid’s friends and colleagues are convinced that he is being held against his will and that the "treatments" he undergoes bear the all the hallmarks of punitive psychiatry.

Uzbekistan and Turkey: A handshake over the grave

Uzbekistan and Turkey: A handshake over the grave

23.11.2016 07:34 msk Analytics Politics Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Recep Tayyir Erdogan and Shavkat Mirziyoyev, whether one likes them or not, are showing they are pragmatic politicians who are capable of forgetting old offences and starting relations anew. But will they be able to rapidly alter and improve the Turkish-Uzbek ties after so many years of mutual accusations.

NATO Liaison Office in Tashkent to close, but alliance to continue cooperation in region

NATO Liaison Office in Tashkent to close, but alliance to continue cooperation in region

17.11.2016 17:52 msk Analytics Politics Interview Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Fergana learnt from its own sources that the NATO liaison office to Central Asia will no longer be active starting next year. The liaison office is currently based in Tashkent, but coordinate the alliance’s activities and cooperation with all the countries in the region. What has caused the decision? We contacted Rosaria Puglisi, head of the liaison office, who has kindly agreed to respond to this and other questions.

Living in someone else’s life. The story of a transgender woman from Tajikistan (18+)

14.11.2016 10:50 msk Human Rights Interview Uzbekistan

Until very recently, she had a male name and surname as well as men’s clothes. However, she confesses, she never felt comfortable in a men’s body. She wanted to wear dresses, use mascara and feel herself a real woman. She felt herself to be a woman since she was a child but did not know what to do about it. After all, in Tajikistan, where she was born and raised in, discussions of transgender matters are unacceptable. So obtaining permission for gender change turned out to be a very big challenge. Moreover, the new image of Mila (not her real name) was rejected even by her own mother. Having undergone humiliation, insults, taunting and alienation by closest people, Mila decided to leave Tajikistan and start a new life in a different country.

Any attack on representative of authority is equated to terrorist act in Kazakhstan. But why?

Any attack on representative of authority is equated to terrorist act in Kazakhstan. But why?

09.11.2016 13:37 msk Human Rights Politics Kazakhstan

The fate of Ruslan Kulebayev, the best known “terrorist” in Kazakhstan at this time, will be known on November 2. Prosecutor Jarkyn Bakashbayev is asking to implement the capital punishment. Even though Kazakhstan does not apply the capital punishment due to an indefinite moratorium, charges of terrorism could lead to such a verdict even if the assassination of 10 individuals that Kulebayev is charged with is discounted.

Public politics gradually emerging in Uzbekistan. What’s next—freedom of speech?

Public politics gradually emerging in Uzbekistan. What’s next—freedom of speech?

30.10.2016 10:26 msk Analytics Politics Uzbekistan

Following the death of the first president of Uzbekistan, the public learnt there are other orators and politicians in Uzbekistan alongside the late head of state. The Uzbek population, as well as the greater world, is learning day by day about new faces and names. Perhaps Uzbek citizens will start recognizing their politicians just as well as they know the names of Russian politicians. Until only a couple of months ago the word combination an Uzbek politician would invoke almost only one association—President Islam Karimov—in Uzbek citizens’ minds.

Impunity endangers our right to know

Impunity endangers our right to know

25.10.2016 18:44 msk Human Rights Politics Central Asia

“Over the past decade, more than 800 journalists have been killed in the line of duty, and only 8% of these cases have been resolved. These are the official figures of the Director-General of UNESCO, an organization of 195 Member States. The 92% unresolved cases tells the public that free expression is not protected. It tells them that society cannot ensure their right to information. This is why every Government must act upon its responsibility to investigate crimes against journalists. Every government has to act timely and thoroughly, if they are to set a precedent for other cases. If we allow any form of violence against journalists, we allow impunity to prevail.” - The article by Frank La Rue - UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information.

Uzbekistan: Everyone, yes, everyone is picking cotton. But two women taking photos

Uzbekistan: Everyone, yes, everyone is picking cotton. But two women taking photos

19.10.2016 10:42 msk Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

The state-run system of forced labour will further be implemented in Uzbekistan, and the Uzbek authorities will continue diligently hiding this from the World Bank and International Labour Organisation. The latter two, by the way, do not seem to be very keen to uncover and discover any violations—doing so is unnecessary at this time. This also means two genuinely human rights advocates will have to continue monitoring the situation despite problems and obstacles the local authorities continue mounting to prevent their activities. They call themselves Besstrashnye [The Fearless Ones]. The group includes Yelena Urlayeva, the leader of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (HRAU), and Malohat Eshonqulova, an independent journalist.

Punitive psychiatry gaining momentum in Kazakhstan

Punitive psychiatry gaining momentum in Kazakhstan

18.10.2016 09:41 msk Human Rights Politics Kazakhstan

Authorities and totalitarian countries often utilize physicians and medicines to suppress dissenting citizens and political opponents. Modern Kazakhstan is no exception. Those criticizing Astana risk being declared insane and ending up in psychiatric institutions.

Tajikistan’s imitation civil society

Tajikistan’s imitation civil society

10.10.2016 12:04 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan

Civic activism has been on the rise in Tajikistan in recent years. At first, groups of disgruntled women started breaking into opposition parties’ offices and western embassies, accusing the first of wanting to start a new war in the country, and the second of harbouring dissidents. Then the disgruntled women vanished, only to be replaced by student activists from pro-government youth organisations. At a time when any anti-government protest — not just a rally, a picket, demonstration or even some small gathering outside a government building — is broken up by the police in Tajikistan, members of these organisations are free to hold rallies and demos, block the streets and even cause mass unrest.

Central Asian Survey: Uzbekistan Forum and Virtual Special Issue

Central Asian Survey: Uzbekistan Forum and Virtual Special Issue

01.10.2016 08:35 msk Politics Media Review Central Asia Uzbekistan

The passing of Islom Karimov, the first president of independent Uzbekistan, in the late summer of 2016 raises important questions for the whole Central Asian region and for those who study it. Amid the clamour of media coverage about prospects for change under the leadership of interim President Shavkat Mirziyoyev—some of it resorting to clichés that have been well-critiqued in the pages of this journal—this Forum provides the opportunity for a longer and more nuanced view about the contemporary shape of the ‘Uzbek model,’ how it works, and how it is lived.

Who was Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov?

03.09.2016 12:37 msk Politics Uzbekistan

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