24 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.

Uzbekistan: Anti-Gay Law Strikes Terror Into Gay People, but Enriches the Police (18+)

Uzbekistan: Anti-Gay Law Strikes Terror Into Gay People, but Enriches the Police (18+)

07.02.2014 17:15 msk Human Rights Interview Uzbekistan

The topic of homosexuality, along with domestic violence, is tabooed in the press and public discourse in Uzbekistan. Moreover, the Central Asian state is among the remaining few countries where same-sex intercourse is punishable by a harsh prison sentence. Our Tashkent-based correspondent reports on how this law is enforced, based on first-hand experiences of gay people to whom he spoke.

Steve Swerdlow: Czech President must cancel Islam Karimov’s visit to Prague

Steve Swerdlow: Czech President must cancel Islam Karimov’s visit to Prague

06.02.2014 23:13 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Uzbekistan

The president of Uzbekistan will pay a two-day visit to Prague on 21 Feb 2014. Human rights activists in Europe are preparing to greet Islam Karimov with protest rallies: Mutabar Tajibayeva, the head of the Fiery Hearts Club, promises that they will firmly demand Karimov free all political prisoners, cease tortures of detainees and inmates, allow an international inquiry into the Andijan events, ensure conditions for NGO activities, and guarantee the freedom of speech. Fergana interviewed Steve Swerdlow, a representative of Human Rights Watch, about President Karimov’s upcoming visit to Europe.



30.01.2014 12:46 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Last night, on Jan. 29, six journalists, photographers and activists have been detained by Uzbek police and taken to an unknown location in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Their names are Umida Akhmedova, Timur Karpov, Alexei Ulko, Ashot Danielyan, Ilgar Gasymov and Gulsum Osmanova. All the detained are our fiends and colleagues, participants of a rally held on Jan. 27 in Tashkent in support of the Euromaidan, an ongoing series of street protests in Ukraine. On that day, they held a brief protest near the Ukrainian embassy building and submitted a petition in support of the Euromaidan in which they urged the government of Prime Minister Azarov to step down (which, in fact, happened in a day). They expressed their support to the people of Ukraine that “rallied against the inhuman, corrupt and totalitarian regime of President Viktor Yanykovych,” according to their petition. They condemned the use of force to the protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and other Ukrainian cities and the reluctance of Ukrainian authorities to start a constructive dialogue with political opposition and the public movement at the Maidan.

Uzbekistan: Non Format club photos censored (photo, video)

Uzbekistan: Non Format club photos censored (photo, video)

28.01.2014 10:18 msk Human Rights Arts Uzbekistan

The Non Format photographers club launched the Odno Prostranstvo (One Space) exhibition at the House of Photography in Tashkent on 25 Jan 2014. Initially, 12 photo-artists were to participate, but the works of two were prohibited from being displayed at the very last moment; a number of other artists’ works were partially covered with blank sheets of paper. Chairman of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan Akmal Nur and Deputy Chairman Ravshan Mirtajiyev have personally censored said works.

IT break, or Why Migrants Need Internet

IT break, or Why Migrants Need Internet

19.01.2014 11:15 msk Human Rights Migration Internet Russia Uzbekistan

The Sankt-Peterburg Center for Independent Sociological Research issued a report on communicative strategies and information resources, which Uzbek migrants in Russia mostly use. The report is entitled “Uzbek Migrants in Russia: Information Space and Social Communications” and is based on a research held between August 2011 and February 2012. The research in question was held in three Russian cities—Sankt-Peterburg, Pskov, and Kazan, and in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. A total of 46 migrants were interviewed (13 in Kazan, 12 in Pskov, nine in Sankt-Peterburg, and 12 in Samarkand) and editors of three mass media outlets targeting migrants from Central Asia were interviewed.

A former inmate in Uzbekistan: Everything in penitentiaries is aimed at destroying humans

A former inmate in Uzbekistan: Everything in penitentiaries is aimed at destroying humans

15.01.2014 11:32 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Nematjon Siddikov was persecuted several times for his human rights advocacy. For his activism in the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (HRAU), the Fergana Region resident was threatened with death and arson at his house; his family members were assaulted by hired hooligans several times; unknown people threw stones at his house. A year ago, on February 5, 2013, about a hundred people arrived at the Siddikovs family house in several vehicles and threw stones at his house, beat his family members, and later trumped up charges against the head of family and his three sons. Several days prior to this attack, Mr. Siddikov and his sons informed the local authorities about a criminal group engaged in contraband across the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border.

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: Erk Party… Is there such a party?

Uzbekistan: Erk Party… Is there such a party?

09.12.2013 09:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

The six assembly of the Erk party was scheduled in Tashkent for 3 Dec 2013. But it was not meant to happen: a local café, the venue point for participants, was suddenly closed on that day due to gas cutoff while many regional delegates were prevented from reaching Tashkent. Why are the authorities so afraid of the Erk Party, whose nominee, Muhammad Salih, ran for president in 1991? What kind of party is it anyway, and what issues was the assembly to discuss? Our observer in Tashkent sheds light on such matters in the article below.

Uzbekistan targets NGOs’ finances

Uzbekistan targets NGOs’ finances

06.12.2013 23:45 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Fergana learned that Uzbek authorities launched mass inspections of non-governmental non- profit organizations in Uzbekistan. The inspection teams include all the controlling bodies—the ministry of justices, tax agencies and other relevant government arms. One can only speculate as to the causes of this heightened interest the government is displaying in regards with NGOs: many say the reason is the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2014 and the presidential elections in 2015. Or, possibly, the inspections are unleashed in connection with the closure of the Fund Forum, which belonged to Gulnara Karimova; after all, many NGOs received financial assistance from it. Or, possibly, it is one of the last nails in the coffin, so to speak: the authorities are trying to intimated NGOs to step up its control and to force them into curbing contacts with foreign and international organizations. As a reminder, the Uzbek National TV and Radio Company employees are prohibited from traveling abroad since recently, even during vacation.

Uzbek Journalist Muhammad Bekjan Awarded Press Freedom International Award after 15 Years of Imprisonment…

Uzbek Journalist Muhammad Bekjan Awarded Press Freedom International Award after 15 Years of Imprisonment…

29.11.2013 09:14 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 27 Nov 2013, Muhammad Bekjan, an imprisoned Uzbek journalist, was awarded the annual award of the Freedom of Press instituted by the Reporters Without Borders (RWB). The award has been issued since 1992, and one journalist and one news media outlet can be awarded it, if judges find they made a significant contribution to the protection and development of freedom of the press. The awarding ceremony is traditionally held in Paris, where the RWB has its main office, but this year ceremony was held in Strasburg as part of events the RWB organized during the Global Forum of Democracy of the European Council. The head of the Association of Human Rights in Central Asia, Nadejda Atayeva, received the award in Mr. Bekjan’s stead. Mr. Bekjan has been imprisoned for 15 years in a prison in Zarafshan City in Navoi Region. He is serving time for crimes he did not commit and no attempts undertaken by international organizations to release him yielded results. On the contrary, Mr. Bekjan’s prison term was extended in 2011; apparently he and his family have lost any hope to see him free again.

Uzbekistan: Esprit De Corps More Important Than Death in Custody During Questioning?

Uzbekistan: Esprit De Corps More Important Than Death in Custody During Questioning?

22.11.2013 23:26 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

The most striking part of the tragic event that took place in the city of Namangan in Uzbekistan this June is the law enforcement and supervision authorities’ absolute unwillingness to interfere, although it is murder we are talking about. According to the killed young man’s mother, her son was beaten to death by policemen, and then law enforcement agencies put esprit de corps higher than evidence, the mother’s heart-break, as well as the fact that two children were orphaned and left without a single breadwinner. The desperate mother’s efforts to right the wrongs and have the guilty punished proved futile: none of the responsible individuals was willing to confess their guilt and confirm their taking part in cruel violence against the defenseless young man. Moreover, even the ombudsman in Tashkent to whom the mother appealed rejected her pleas to hear her out and thought it unnecessary to even take a look at the evidence in the case.

International Campaign to Protect Those Disappeared In Turkmen Prisons

International Campaign to Protect Those Disappeared In Turkmen Prisons

30.10.2013 10:05 msk Human Rights Politics Turkmenistan

The Turkmenistan Civic Solidarity Group announces the beginning of our international campaign, “Prove They Are Alive!” The Goal of the Campaign is to uncover the truth about the fate of hundreds of people who have disappeared in Turkmen prisons as the result of massive repression that took place in the 2000s. Uncovering the truth about gross human rights violations by Turkmenistan’s authorities in the past and today will stop additional violations in the future. By raising the question of the fate of those people who have disappeared in Turkmenistan’s prisons on the international level, we begin to pave the way to addressing the systemic human rights violations committed by one of the most opaque and repressive regimes in the world.

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.

Breasts, fish, cotton - why did Uzbeks jail reporter Sergei Naumov?

Breasts, fish, cotton - why did Uzbeks jail reporter Sergei Naumov?

05.10.2013 00:10 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Twelve days in jail for allegedly harassing a foul-mouthed woman is what Sergei Naumov got for being the only reporter to cover, muck-rack and expose the otherwise untold horrors of living in western Uzbekistan. The arrest is part of a never-ending crackdown on dissidents, independent journalists and opposition figures who dare stand up to President Islam Karimov’s policies in Central Asia’s most populous nation.

Other news

Media headlines

Diplomat How Chinese Think About Terrorism, 19.04.2014

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


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