17 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.

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: Thinking out loud about Gulnara Karimova as her father’s “victim”

Uzbekistan: Thinking out loud about Gulnara Karimova as her father’s “victim”

04.11.2013 23:22 msk Analytics Politics Uzbekistan

The president of Uzbekistan has long been called, behind his back of course, “Father.” To be sure, not an “Uzbekbashi,” like the previous president of Turkmenistan was called “Turkmenbashi” (“The head of all Turkmen”) or “Yelbasy” (“The leader of nation”) like the Kazakhs call their president. Uzbek subjects seem to feel more intimate and almost family-type ties with their head of state. It, therefore, turns out that all citizens in the country are essentially Islam Karimov’s sons and daughters. Like any father, he feeds and brings them up, punishes and forgives, and there is no way the can do without he for well over 20 years now. It is high time they grew up and start their own lives, but they just cannot bring themselves to breaking that painful dependence on almost saint father. To be fair, the daddy is not burning with the desire to open his arms and release his children. For a long time, those very 20 years to be specific, Islam Karimov’s fatherly belt did not land on his biological children only. The two daughters of his were allowed to do whatever they wished, just like any capricious princesses.

Russians Worried about Spread of Cancer-Causing

Russians Worried about Spread of Cancer-Causing "Sucking Tobacco" from Central Asia

14.10.2013 19:57 msk Analytics Central Asia Uzbekistan

“Sucking tobacco,” or nasvai is green, oil-covered, smelly little pellets – or, sometimes, powder – that has for centuries been popular in Central Asia where Muslim clerics disapproved of smoking as a “satanic” Western habit. Following the influx of Central Asian labor migrants to Russia, dirt-cheap nasvai has become popular among average Russians and schoolchildren, while doctors warn about its carcinogenic effects.

The world did not hear us

The world did not hear us

20.09.2013 22:11 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

«I am an Uzbek woman originally from Tashkent. I used to work as a journalist, and I left my homeland like so many others not because I wanted to do so, but because I had to. I enjoyed reading the articles posted on Fergana by readers, political experts and journalists about the possibility of “velvet” revolution in Uzbekistan. I share the general sentiment of the readers’ opinion. However, I did not see in any of those articles the main reason as to why neither a “velvet,” a “color,” a “sunny” or any other kind of revolution would occur in Uzbekistan. The reason, as I see it, is the geopolitical interests of the most powerful countries on Earth—the USA, Russia, and China. The fact that Uzbek people will not rise up on their own is a no-brainer. First of all, lack of a strong person; of a leader with a defined program, a stage-by-stage plan of eliminating the current governmental authority; program on restoring the economy that was destroyed long ago; and, most importantly, an agenda on changing the Uzbek mentality...»

Nadejda Atayeva: Seven-year imprisonment sentence and property confiscation for human rights activism

Nadejda Atayeva: Seven-year imprisonment sentence and property confiscation for human rights activism

29.08.2013 08:45 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Migration Interview Uzbekistan

On 22 Jul 2013, head of the France-based Human Rights in Central Asia Association announced on her Facebook page: “On 19 July 2013, the Tashkent City Criminal Court sentenced me, in absentia, to seven years in prison and to confiscate my property. The trial took place without my lawyer or myself. I was accused of embezzling entrusted property. The testimony of 69 witnesses, who had also been convicted and who had worked for my father, established my guilt. No expert’s conclusion on the amount of damages was made available. This decision of the Uzbek “justice” was preceded by online and e-mail threats, provocations and numerous extradition requests. Well, we live on!”

Uzbekistan’s New Centurions

Uzbekistan’s New Centurions

12.08.2013 09:15 msk Analytics Politics Uzbekistan

The «Sunny Country», as Uzbekistan has been called under «President Islam Karimov’s leadership» lately, continues relentlessly surprising the world with original innovations. So, as the new academic year starts this autumn, according to the Central Asia Online portal, all military and law enforcement academies will launch an expedited preparation of young officers in the field of Combatting Terrorism. It is said that these units would be formed not only by newly entering students, but could also include those students currently pursuing degrees in other similar fields. Over 100 highly qualified terrorist fighters are expected to graduate every year.

Floor given to Uzbek opposition: Failure and degradation or unification and progress?

Floor given to Uzbek opposition: Failure and degradation or unification and progress?

22.07.2013 00:56 msk Analytics Politics Interview Uzbekistan

One of the leaders of democratic opposition of Uzbekistan, Nigara Khidoyatova, urges the opponents of the Islam Karimov regime to unite around entrepreneurial Bakhodir Choriyev. Ms. Khidoyatova discussed her acquaintance with Mr. Choriyev, a former farmer and currently a US-based dissident, in her article “On the enlightening example of an outstanding individual,” which was posted on the Birlik opposition movement’s website.

Doctors in Uzbekistan on cotton fields: “Impossible to refuse”

03.07.2013 00:01 msk Analytics Business Cotton Uzbekistan

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights compiled and distributed a new video clip on the forced labor of doctors and other medicine-related professionals to weeding cotton fields in Uzbekistan.

What freedom?! Posing the “Uzbek question” to the OSCE representative for mass media

What freedom?! Posing the “Uzbek question” to the OSCE representative for mass media

02.07.2013 13:31 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

The Representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, recently praised the Kyrgyz authorities for “creating a favorable media environment.” However, she fell short of specifying what exact “favorable environment” she meant in a country, which lived through the horrors of two “revolutions” and the blood chilling interethnic carnage. What do such elevated praises testify to—the speaker’s incompetence in said matters or de-jour hypocrisy?

Islam Karimov: Far from reality

Islam Karimov: Far from reality

24.06.2013 23:35 msk Analytics Business Politics Migration Interview Russia Uzbekistan

Uzbek President Islam Karimov called the Uzbek labor migrants engaged in sweeping streets in Moscow “lazybones” and “street beggars.” Perhaps, President Karimov’s words were addressed for the local audience, for “local consumption” so to speak. The online media outlets in Uzbekistan appeared embarrassed for their leader’s harsh and strange claims having decided not to reprint his statements. The part about “lazybones” would not have made its way into the “foreign consumption” copy of the interview if not for vigilant foreign news agencies.

Kyrgyzstan: Kamchibek Tashiyev freed. Parliament’s dissolution imminent?

Kyrgyzstan: Kamchibek Tashiyev freed. Parliament’s dissolution imminent?

19.06.2013 09:58 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

In the evening of 17 June 2013, the second level court in Bishkek acquitted the three Kyrgyz MPs who were charged with an attempt to illegally usurp power in the country. Kamchibek Tashiyev, Talant Mamytov and Sadyr Japarov walked out of the preliminary detention facility they were in keeping their Member of Parliament status and the relevant immunity intact. Some analysts in Kyrgyzstan and abroad assume that this could set in motion the largest political crisis in three years [since the last revolution in 2010].

Sergey Abashin: Osh events at crossroads of oblivion

Sergey Abashin: Osh events at crossroads of oblivion

11.06.2013 01:37 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

Sergey Abashin, PhD in history, is a leading fellow at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology under the Russian Academy of Sciences. In his piece below, he ponders lessons and challenges of the bloody events in Southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010.

Other news

Media headlines

Interfax Beijing: Islamists control regional drug trafficking routes, 17.04.2014

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

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