1 march 2015

Central Asia news

Rashod Kamalov: A respected imam or “chief Islamist” in Kyrgyzstan?

Rashod Kamalov: A respected imam or “chief Islamist” in Kyrgyzstan?

13.02.2015 14:31 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Religious life Central Asia Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Rashod Kamolov, a relatively young but very popular and respected imam, was arrested in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Kamolov is the son of a local influential theologian, who was assassinated by secret services during former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s term in office eight years ago. The current Kyrgyz authorities claim that they collected solid evidences that Mr. Rashod Kamalov recruited and sent people to participate in the civil war in Syria, by making such propaganda that allegedly made his parish think like “zombies.” Meanwhile, Mr. Kamalov’s lawyers maintain their client’s innocence and police actions’ illegality. It is difficult to make sense in this story, but one thing is certain: Law-enforcement and judicial bodies continue completely forgetting about human rights and respect for appropriate procedures in their chase for success in “combating extremism.”

Kazakhstan: Domestic homicide provokes another pogrom against ethnic group

Kazakhstan: Domestic homicide provokes another pogrom against ethnic group

11.02.2015 01:24 msk Analytics Human Rights Central Asia Kazakhstan Tajikistan

In the evening of February 5, disturbances took place in the village of Bostandyk in Saryagash District of South Kazakhstan Region. Over a dozen of vehicles were destroyed, while several houses were looted and burned during the disorder. Fortunately, as the saying goes, no victims or casualties are were reported. The news about the events broke only the next morning. The rumour has it an aggressive crowd of several tens of people that organized the pogrom was eyeing the property belonging to third-generation ethnic Tajiks living in the villages of Bostandyk and Yntymak. However, a brief press release circulated by the Internal Affairs Department (IAD) mentioned nothing about the ethnicity of those who wreaked havoc.

The West and the modern “Islamisms”: Who is behind the conflict designing?

The West and the modern “Islamisms”: Who is behind the conflict designing?

04.02.2015 01:00 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia

We are continuing to discuss the question of Islam and Islamophobia—a discussion which began quite a long time ago, but which became louder following the cruel terrorist attack which took place in the centre of Paris. In an article written specially for Ferghana and which we are offering our readers here, the orientalist Bahodir Sidikov argues that Islamophobia is artificially encouraged by and in the West and that it is instrumentalized as a ‘bogey for domestic purposes’, as a stabilizer and catalyser of national development.

US military vehicles: Expensive gift for Uzbek President or non-disposable “garbage”?

US military vehicles: Expensive gift for Uzbek President or non-disposable “garbage”?

29.01.2015 17:51 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan Uzbekistan

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia Daniel Rosenblum told the Voice of America that over 300 modern military machines would be granted to Uzbekistan in the next few months. According to the representative of the Department of State, Washington is certain that Uzbekistan is in need of these defensive armoured vehicles to combat terrorism and drug trafficking. “They are intended to protect personnel, crews and passengers in areas that there might be explosive devices, mines, so on,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Rosenblum says. He further clarifies that these particular vehicles “are not coming from Afghanistan” as was previously expected, but “are coming from other places.” Obviously the fact in question raises at least two questions: 1) How would these vehicles benefit (or harm) Uzbekistan and the region? 2) Does this fact mean that Washington is thus expressing its unequivocal support of Islam Karimov ahead of the presidential elections in March?

Uzbekistan: More gas for export, less for domestic consumption

Uzbekistan: More gas for export, less for domestic consumption

26.01.2015 00:31 msk Human Rights Business Central Asia China Uzbekistan

Obviously, no realistic country would build gas pipelines to leave them empty. Consequently, when the fourth branch of the Central Asia—China is filled with eastbound gas, Uzbek citizens and residents will get less fuel. The appetite of the energy-hungry economy of China is constantly growing. The appetite is being satisfied by energy pumped out of Central Asia, leaving its residents in cold every winter.

Uzbeks returning from Norway tortured, bashed on TV and convicted for extremism

Uzbeks returning from Norway tortured, bashed on TV and convicted for extremism

26.12.2014 15:00 msk Analytics Human Rights Migration Central Asia Uzbekistan

Two days ago, several more innocent people were convicted for alleged anti-state activities and religious extremism in Uzbekistan. It is a very sad recurring event in this Central Asian country. Human rights activists almost daily toll the bells on torture in pretrial detention facilities and unfair courts. However, this particular case is no routine. The only “crime” the convicts in question committed was obtaining asylum in Norway. Some have only lived and worked there for some time.

Kyrgyzstan in the European Economic Union despite all doubts

Kyrgyzstan in the European Economic Union despite all doubts

25.12.2014 13:40 msk Analytics Business Politics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia

On 23 Dec 2014, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev signed a document, which brought his country into the fold of the European Economic Union Treaty. Talks on the conditions of Kyrgyzstan’s joining the union lasted literally until the very last hour. A source in the Kyrgyz foreign ministry told Fergana about how this happened and what was achieved.

Sergey Abashin: “The Soviet Village: Between Colonialism and Modernism”

Sergey Abashin: “The Soviet Village: Between Colonialism and Modernism”

17.12.2014 00:33 msk Books Interview Central Asia Russia Tajikistan Uzbekistan

The latest research into Central Asia by Sergey Abashin, a professor at the European University in Sankt-Peterburg, has recently been published as a book. The study in question researches into the history of transformation of Central Asia between late 19th century and the collapse of the Soviet Union in early 1990s. The century-long episode of history is related via a description of life in a village that has undergone conquest, repressions, rapid economic growth and cultural modernization. The book (in Russian) includes many documents and oral narrations that shed light on the conquest of the region, the establishment of first colonial and later Soviet rule, the fight against basmachis, collectivization and cotton-based economy, medicine and Islam, mahalla-centric communities and marriage strategies. The author of the book uses theories of post-colonialism, cultural hybridity, the Soviet subjectivity to analyze the collected material. The tools employed help him explain the contradicting nature of public relations in the Russian Empire and the former USSR.

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

12.11.2014 17:57 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Several weeks ago ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) forces reached Turkey’s borders, destroying all ‘infidels’ in their path, by which they mean both Christians and Muslims belonging to other branches of Islam. Support for ISIS has also extended beyond its region: Afghan and Pakistani members of the Taliban have already begun to swear allegiance to this new radical Islamist movement. Specialists in politics and international relations, regional specialists, politicians and informed observers were asked what they think about the subject.

Rabeya Kadeer: “The USSR’s fate awaits China”

Rabeya Kadeer: “The USSR’s fate awaits China”

09.11.2014 00:42 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia China Kazakhstan

The Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) has been unstable over the last several years: Some in the local Uighur population are unhappy with the way the Chinese authorities are handling the region and are demanding independence from Beijing. Armed clashes between the Uighur population of the region and the Chinese authorities often take place in XUAR. But who actually is behind all these terrorist acts? Could one be expecting a Hong Kong-style scenario in XUAR and Tibet? Rabeya Kadeer, the currently exiled leader of the Uighur opposition, spoke with a reporter of the Kazakh weekly magazine ADAM bol (Guljan Yergaliyeva, editor in chief) over the phone from Washington D.C., USA.

Carnegie Moscow presents Russo-Turkish cooperation in “turbulent neighborhood” report

Carnegie Moscow presents Russo-Turkish cooperation in “turbulent neighborhood” report

24.10.2014 13:41 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Carnegie Moscow Center presented the “Exploring the Prospects of Russian-Turkish Cooperation in a Turbulent Neighborhood” report compiled by the Carnegie Center and the Global Relations Forum (GRF) in Istanbul. The two organizations established a Working Group dedicated to exploring the potential for regional cooperation between Turkey and Russia under the leadership of Memduh Karakullukchu, vice chairman and president, Global Relations Forum (GRF), and Dmitri Trenin, director, Carnegie Moscow Center.

Few hundred Chinese, jihad and deserted square – entire village population

Few hundred Chinese, jihad and deserted square – entire village population

13.10.2014 13:40 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia Tajikistan

On 10 Oct 2014, a protest rally was planned in Dushanbe per announcements the leader of the oppositionist Gruppa 24 Umarali Kuvvatov made on social networks. The group’s plans included people taking to streets and waving “Tajikistan demands changes,” “Tajikistan without Rakhmon,” “Fair elections,” “Life with dignity” slogans.

Uzbek-Tajik ties improving: The role Tajik plays in Uzbekistan

12.10.2014 23:11 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Central Asia Tajikistan Uzbekistan

The text of the entire article below, save minor addenda, is identical with a report carried by the OSCE website. The main findings of said report were delivered at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on 29 Sep 2014.

Speak Up for success

Speak Up for success

09.07.2014 23:47 msk Business Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Speak Up is part of the largest language school network in Poland, which belongs to the international capital group Empik Media & Fashion. In 2012 revenues of the Group were about PLN 3.2 billion (over 1 trillion USD). The language school division is represented by Learning System Group (LSG) which operates 115 schools with more than 100.000 students. LSG is the leader in teaching foreign languages in Central and Eastern Europe. Being listed in Warsaw Stock Exchange since 1997, EMF has become one of the leading distributors of language courses, media, clothing, cosmetics and children’s products in Central Europe. It includes well-known brands as Hugo Boss, River Island and Esprit. Our school has been recognized in the prestigious Book of Lists 2012 , taking first place in the category of number of students and offer. Speak Up specializes in teaching English to adults using a unique method that combines the most modern multimedia tools with classes conducted by highly qualified instructors. There are Speak Up schools all over Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

Slain journalist Alisher’s daughter Zulaykho: “My father was a journalist!”

26.10.2013 13:06 msk Ferghana Valley Human Rights Central Asia Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan


Alisher Saipov, a well-known journalist, was killed with three gunshots on this day six years ago. He would have turned 32 this September. Alisher was different from his colleagues thanks to his sharp words; he raised pressing issues in lives of not only Kyrgyzstan’s population, but also those in Uzbekistan. During the last year he lived, he was publishing the Uzbek-language newspaper called Siyosat (Politics), which earned fame instantaneously. A lot was written about Alisher after his assassination: some were infuriated by the killing, some rushed to accuse him of ungrounded misdoings. On this day, we decided to write about Alisher’s now 6-year-old daughter—Zulaykho.

Other news

Media headlines

Forbes Islamic Extremism In Central Asia: Witch Hunt Or Genuine Threat?, 28.02.2015

Carnegie.Ru Why Did Nazarbayev Suddenly Call for Early Elections?, 26.02.2015

OSCE OSCE convenes first workshop in Central Asia on countering phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, 26.02.2015

AP 3 nabbed in NY, Florida in plot to join Islamic State Group, 25.02.2015

openDemocracy Economic dystopia in Kyrgyzstan, 12.02.2015

Silk Road Reporters Tajikistan, frontline state against resurgent Taliban, 09.02.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Bullish on Economy – But Do Numbers Add Up?, 03.02.2015

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban emir for Bajaur joins Islamic State, 03.02.2015

WB Taking STEPs to Improve Employment Outcomes in Uzbekistan, 03.02.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: With Gulnara on Sidelines, How Will Football Fare?, 29.01.2015

The Economist The Turkish prime minister rejects charges of being soft on the Islamic State and authoritarian at home, 24.01.2015

The Independent War on Isis: Flood of jihadi volunteers to Syria 'unstoppable', warns Turkish Prime Minister, 22.01.2015

The Guardian Russia’s rouble crisis poses threat to nine countries relying on remittances, 19.01.2015

The Diplomat ISIS Looks for Foothold in Central Asia, 19.01.2015

Eurasianet Central Asian States Still Cagey Bookkeepers, Says Washington, 16.01.2015

The Guardian How much do you know about ‘the Stans’ of central Asia? – quiz, 15.01.2015

HRW Tajikistan: Human Rights Lawyer Imprisoned, 14.01.2015

BBC Islamic State 'recruiting Afghan fighters', 13.01.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: March Presidential Vote to Be One-Horse Race?, 12.01.2015

Foreign Policy "Islamic State": Women and Children for Sale, 11.01.2015

Bloomberg Kyrzbekistan Isn't Funny, 10.01.2015

Al Jazeera Torture and death for Uzbek Muslims in jail, 07.01.2015

The Diplomat Some Rare Good News for Central Asia, 07.01.2015

KTVB Prosecutors: Boise terrorism suspect wanted to target military base, 06.01.2015

NYT` Radical Islam, Nihilist Rage, 05.01.2015

The Long War Journal Taliban video highlights training camp, operations in Kunar, 03.01.2015

The Express Tribune Existential threat: The turning point in the fight against terrorism, 03.01.2015

Hurriyet Armed assailant detained near Turkish PM’s office in Istanbul, 01.01.2015

Khaama Press A threat to higher education in Afghanistan is the “Talibanization” of Nangarhar University, 28.12.2014

Al Arabiya Teen whose skull was broken by Turkey police canister gets jail term, 27.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: Ruble’s Rout Breeds Uncertainty for Central Asian Migrants, 24.12.2014

The New York Times Taliban Push Into Afghan Districts That U.S. Had Secured, 23.12.2014

Long War Journal Taliban publicize training camp in northern Afghanistan, 22.12.2014

Al Jazeera The Girls of the Taliban, 21.12.2014

OpenDemocracy The cost of digital silence in Turkey: 40 million euros, 20.12.2014

Cihan What next for Turkey?, 20.12.2014

The Diplomat Central Asia’s Hydropower Spat, 20.12.2014

Press TV Turkish people gather in Istanbul to protest media crackdown, 19.12.2014

CNN ISIS: From beheading to hacking, 19.12.2014

Today's Zaman Citizens across country protest media oppression and detention of journalists, 18.12.2014

Hindustan Times Kabul should not slip away, 18.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Gears Up to Vote for Rubberstamp Parliament, 18.12.2014

Threat Matrix The Peshawar attack: sickening, but no surprise, 17.12.2014

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban assault military high school in Peshawar, 16.12.2014

Reuters Turkish soccer fans go on trial accused of coup attempt, 16.12.2014

Today's Zaman Thousands gather across Turkey to protest police raids against media, 15.12.2014

Long War Journal Taliban attacks in Afghanistan surge as Coalition ends combat mission, 14.12.2014

Today's Zaman Turkish police raid Zaman building, attempt to detain editor, 14.12.2014

Worldbulletin Four more dissident Uzbeks are on assasination list -report, 14.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Turning To Russia For New Weaponry, 13.12.2014

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