30 june 2015

Central Asia news

Kyrgyzstan: Life-long convict Azimjan Askarov reports poor health, thanks friends

Kyrgyzstan: Life-long convict Azimjan Askarov reports poor health, thanks friends

16.05.2015 17:13 msk Human Rights Central Asia Kyrgyzstan

On the eve of his 64th birthday anniversary, human rights activist Azimjan Askarov wrote a letter of gratitude addressed to all those who supported and continue supporting him—friends, co-workers, international organizations and private entities. “Over just two months of the new year of 2015, I have received some 1 500 letters from the five continents of Earth. Last year, I received drawings by 10-12 year old schoolchildren from Stockholm. They provided me with spiritual support by the means of such short letters. This year, I have received letters from Jamey, 4, Svetlana’s son, and Peter, 75, and his wife Tuha, 74, from England,” Azimjan Askarov writes. “The authors wish me soonest release, peace and tranquillity. They write that I need to know that I am not alone and a big number of my friends think of me every hour, every day. They wish me strength and restoration of justice in my case. They write that they pray for my soonest release and that they astonished with my courage. I am limitlessly thankful to the authors of these numerous letters for all the care and support they express. I am very sorry I do not have the opportunity to write to each and every one of these wonderful people with great hearts”.

Crude Accountability: “Karachaganak:Children in Exchange for Oil”

23.04.2015 10:06 msk Human Rights Business Central Asia Kazakhstan


The film “Karachaganak:Children in Exchange for Oil” deals with tragedy that occurred in the Kazakh village of Berezovka on 28 November 2014. Emissions from the Karachaganak oil and gas condensate field have resulted in the mass poisoning children in the village. The situation in Berezovka is critical. The November tragedy has accelerated declining health among the children, who have felt the poisonous breath of Karachaganak for years. However, the authorities and the consortium “Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV” prefer to keep silent about the untenable situation of the village’s inhabitants and refuse to relocate them to an environmentally save place. Help to save the children of Berezovka! Demand that KPO and the government of Kazakhstan relocate the village of Berezovka! Source: Crude Accountability web-site

Murder in Istanbul: Political terror effective in CIS

Murder in Istanbul: Political terror effective in CIS

08.03.2015 11:28 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Central Asia Russia Tajikistan Turkey, Republic of

The killing of Tajik oppositionist Umarali Kuvvatov in Istanbul, Turkey, appears to be an extreme end of political terror against the opponents of the ruling regime in Tajikistan. Obviously Dushanbe will scramble to steer clear of the murder, claiming the late Mr. Kuvvatov’s death does not benefit the authorities there because it would actually be to its detriment. They have an example in Moscow to follow in this regard—the Kremlin made a similar statement after the late Mr. Nemtsov’s assassination a week ago.

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.

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