22 september 2017
Central Asia news
On 5 September, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Bishkek to sign the agreement on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. Many experts, including the leadership of both republics, are considering the first visit of the Uzbek president to Kyrgyzstan in 17 years as a sign of warming of bilateral relations. The delimitation and demarcation of 80 percent of the border are on the agenda. Skeptics point out that the treaty was prepared hastily and it is still unclear what specific sections of the border are disputed.
For the past seven years, the number of convicts for extremism and terrorism in Kyrgyzstan has tripled. In 2009, according to the State Penitentiary Service (SSC), 51 people were convicted for such crimes, whereas today 185 people including 7 women are serving their sentences. Among this category of prisoners 22 people are accused of fighting in Syria, 97 - membership in Hizb-ut-Tahrir, 84 - committed their crimes for the first time. 38 people are kept in high security prisons. Who are these persons? How did they end up in the dock?
Activists of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (PAU) held a traditional action in the centre of Tashkent at the foot of the ‘Courage’ monument on 13 May to commemorate the hundreds of peaceful Andijan residents, who died during the shooting of the rally 12 years ago. To the surprise of the participants, this time the event passed without any interference by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Security Service (SNB).
On 10 May 2017, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein arrives in Uzbekistan with a two-day visit after a long break. We offered several well-known human rights defenders and experts on the region to comment on this important event and suggest concerns that a high UN official should raise in conversation with the leaders of the Central Asian country. In their common opinion, the main thing is that the visit would not have appeared formal, but initiates the process of actual promotion of human rights in Uzbekistan.
Brothers and neighbours speak about Rakhmat Akilov in Uzbekistan and Abror and Akram Azimov brothers in Kyrgyzstan. A good childhood and obedience, law-abiding behaviour, positive reputation in the neighbourhood, diligence – such testimonials would make a decent citizen, but not terrorist.
“Chinese and Uzbek archaeologists rewrite the history of an ancient city.” China’s Xinhua news agency carried a report under this title on January 11, 2017, which cites a forum on archaeology of the Academy of Public Sciences of China. According to the report, a group of archaeologists from China and Uzbekistan has made a significant discovery while excavating the ruins of the ancient town of Mingtepa (which the report erroneously calls Minggepa) in the southeast of the Fergana Valley. The news was instantaneously reposted by almost every single website in Uzbekistan.
Sumon Lord is a citizen of the United Kingdom who is currently living in Bishkek. He was asked to contribute an article on life in Kyrgyzstan to Fergana.ru from the perspective of an expat, explaining for example, what he found surprising, interesting, unusual, what he liked or did not like about life in Kyrgyzstan. He decided to make preschool education in Kyrgyzstan the main theme of this article.
Kyrgyz power-wielders stage drills in Uzbek-majority neighbourhood in South, fail to notify residents