13 february 2016

Central Asia news

Uzbek expert criticizes World Bank over monitoring of forced labour

Uzbek expert criticizes World Bank over monitoring of forced labour

09.12.2015 19:06 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

In late November, the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the World Bank published the monitoring results of the use of child and forced labour during the cotton harvest in 2015 in Uzbekistan. The experts of the ILO, as the report says, «could not find conclusive evidence which can prove child or forced labour was used during the cotton harvest season in 2015 in Uzbekistan».

Kyrgyz education ministry wants to close a special kindergarten for special children

Kyrgyz education ministry wants to close a special kindergarten for special children

30.11.2015 09:22 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

The only private kindergarten that provides an inclusive form of education in Kyrgyzstan, based in the capital Bishkek, is on the verge of being shut down. Both typical children and those with the Down syndrome attend the kindergarten. The authorities claim an unfortunate accident last month—a child broke a leg—warrants the closure. No criminal probe has been launched due to “lack of evidence.” But an avalanche of inspections was launched nonetheless. Albeit only unofficially, a warning was issued, “We will revoke your license.”

Uzbek rights advocate in need of rights advocate

Uzbek rights advocate in need of rights advocate

24.11.2015 22:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

When Uzbekistan has finally released well-known politician Murad Jurayev, who spent 21 years behind bars, very few naively thought the move was an indication of the Islam Karimov regime’s weakening after a quarter-century state-sponsored elimination of its critics and opponents. Only several days later following the joyful event of Mr Jurayev’s freedom, yet another sad event occurred: human rights advocate Uktam Pardayev has been arrested in Jizzakh. The defender of human rights faces the traditional accusations of “extortion” and “fraud”. But what has this man actually done to cause ire of the Uzbek authorities?

Political prisoner released in Uzbekistan after 21 years, Sec Kerry visit

12.11.2015 18:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Jurayev


Murad Jurayev, a well-known Uzbekistani oppositional political prisoner, has been released from prison on November 12. Mr Jurayev was accused of entering “criminal conspiracy” with Muhammad Salih, the leader of the Erk opposition party. According to the Uzbek authorities, Messrs Salih and Jurayev wanted to organise a violent seizure of power.

Uzbek rights advocates able to meet political prisoner

12.11.2015 01:51 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Activists of the Ezgulik human rights advocacy society visited November 10 Murad Jurayev in prison. Mr Jurayev is a former MP and ex-mayor of a city in Kashkadarya Region (Uzbekistan), who has been imprisoned for over two decades.

Reflections on Islam Karimov’s image

04.11.2015 02:15 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan



This fatigued man is well into his seventh decade. He was a boss of this or that kind more than half of his life. For a quarter-century he was under the rule of the despised others in Soviet times, and he has been Boss No. 1 in an independent country for almost the same number of years. At this time, only God is above him, as the saying goes.

Fire destroys Uzbek rights advocate’s house, computers; items missing (+photo, video)

Fire destroys Uzbek rights advocate’s house, computers; items missing (+photo, video)

02.11.2015 20:57 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Fire broke out in the house of Dmitriy Tikhonov, a journalist and rights advocate, and destroyed part of the house and property in the town of Yangiabad 15km from the city of Angren in Tashkent Region on October. The cause of fire is unknown at this time. The house owner learnt about the fire only on October 26, because he left Angren for some time after learning on September 30 he was under surveillance.

Uzbekistan: Cotton slaves picked sells well, as usual…

Uzbekistan: Cotton slaves picked sells well, as usual…

22.10.2015 13:31 msk Human Rights Business Cotton Uzbekistan

According to many employees of state-funded institutions, who have been forcefully sent to cotton fields in Uzbekistan, they manually collected the entire harvest of cotton this year. They report seeing not even one cotton-picking machine throughout the whole period of their work on the fields. Meanwhile, the official mass media are tirelessly reporting on grandiose achievements in the Uzbek economy’s cotton sector. But are falling short to mention these achievements have been secured thanks to almost free-of-charge slave labour.

Kyrgyz court hands five-year sentence to imam prominent in south

Kyrgyz court hands five-year sentence to imam prominent in south

12.10.2015 10:47 msk Human Rights Religious life Kyrgyzstan

The Kara-Suu District Court in Osh Region completed a trial of the case of Rashod Kamalov, a popular imam at the As-Sarakhsi mosque, on October 7. Mr Kamalov is charged with three crimes, each of which fell under two articles in the Kyrgyz crime code: inciting religious animosity, abuse of power, and distributing extremist materials during mass events. “The judge found Rashod Kamalov guilty in accordance with two articles of the country’s crime code: Article 299 and Part 1 of Article 299, and sentenced him to five years of imprisonment in a penal colony,” Valeryan Vakhitov, Mr Kamalov’s lawyer, has told Fergana.

Uzbekistan: Hey, World Bank, attention here!

Uzbekistan: Hey, World Bank, attention here!

29.09.2015 01:32 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Uzbekistan

According to information Fergana obtained from several sources, thousands of residents of the city of Angren in Tashkent Region are engaged in this year’s cotton-picking campaign. The area is of particular interest because its one of the sites the World Bank has financed a project. One of the conditions for obtaining a credit from WB was the prohibition of using forced labour in this very area. Simply put, the Uzbek government is grossly violating the conditions of an agreement with a foreign donor. Observers are under the impression that the World Bank leadership is simply failing to notice this screaming violation. Our correspondents on the ground contributed to the following article.

Uzbekistan: “We are slaves, indeed!” A photojournalist’s cotton-picking stint (+photos, video)

Uzbekistan: “We are slaves, indeed!” A photojournalist’s cotton-picking stint (+photos, video)

23.09.2015 13:39 msk Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

The authorities of Uzbekistan relentlessly try to convince that doctors, educators and their students volunteer to travel and contribute to agriculture activities every autumn. Yet, critics of the incumbent authorities continuously maintain forced labour and extortion are rampant on the part of state officials; the conditions of living and food are slavish; diseases and traumas are ubiquitous, while death, too, occurs among the cotton-pickers that have been pulled out of civilised life and thrown onto the “cotton front”. But who is right? In order to get to the root of the problem and experience a personal encounter, photojournalist Timur Karpov travelled to a cotton field from his native Tashkent.

The Uzbek-German Forum: “Silk Noose on Uzbek Farmers’ Neck”

The Uzbek-German Forum: “Silk Noose on Uzbek Farmers’ Neck”

16.09.2015 12:14 msk Human Rights Business Uzbekistan

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights published “Silk Noose on Uzbek Farmers’ Neck,” which sheds light on 1) the use of forced labour in silk cocoon production in Uzbekistan and 2) centralised approach on the cocoon production and government monopoly, which impose production quotas on the farmers and forces the latter to sell the cocoons back to the state at lowered prices. In other words, the cocoon production is beset by same ills that befall cotton production: forced labour, the involvement of law-enforcement agencies and local governments, all the while state-dependent employees are forced into bribing their way out of compulsion.

Uzbekistan: Museum director’s removal unwarranted and sinister!

Uzbekistan: Museum director’s removal unwarranted and sinister!

02.09.2015 00:59 msk Analytics Human Rights Arts Central Asia Russia Uzbekistan

The director of the legendary Savitsky Art Museum in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, Marinika Babanazarova, was recently fired; no new director has been appointed yet. Ms Babanazarova’s colleagues and friends are collecting signatures and writing letters in protest to the government and president of Uzbekistan, demanding to resolve the problem and recall the order of her dismissal. Meanwhile, experts abroad are seriously concerned about the fate of a rich collection at the museum, which is now left exposed without that one person who has at the helms for 30 years and secured a globally renowned status for the museum.

USA: Federal Jury Convicts Kurbanov on Terrorism Charges

USA: Federal Jury Convicts Kurbanov on Terrorism Charges

13.08.2015 12:56 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

A federal jury in the District of Idaho (USA) returned guilty verdicts against former Uzbekistan citizen Fazliddin Kurbanov, 33, on charges that he conspired and attempted to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessed an unregistered destructive device. The jury found the defendant not guilty on two other charges.

Uzbek officials: “Our prisons are most progressive, mass media are most democratic; no torture, because it is prohibited!”

Uzbek officials: “Our prisons are most progressive, mass media are most democratic; no torture, because it is prohibited!”

20.07.2015 10:40 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Migration Internet Uzbekistan

Every five years starting in 1996, Uzbekistan delivers a report before UN Committee for Human Rights on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There are very few people aware of this document in Uzbekistan, save the officials and a handful of pro-government NGOs like the Committee of Women of Uzbekistan or the Ijtimoiy Fikr Sociology Centre, which characterise themselves as independent for some reason. Public hearings of another report took place at the Wilson Pallaise in Geneva, Switzerland on July 8-9, where an delegation from Uzbekistan responded to questions 18 members of the committee had to ask them.

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