3 december 2016

Central Asia news

Apricot pits or Why was Yekaterina Sajneva deported from Uzbekistan

Apricot pits or Why was Yekaterina Sajneva deported from Uzbekistan

01.12.2016 10:39 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Russia Uzbekistan

A plane Russian citizen Yekaterian Sajneva was in landed in Uzbekistan on November 27. Ms Sajneva is a journalist for the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper, who has been in Uzbekistan several times. But this time Yekaterina was travelling in Uzbekistan for personal reasons. She was detained on the third day of her visit and deported several hours thereafter back to Russia “for violating the rules of sojourn.” Yekaterina told the details of how everything unfolded in an interview with Fergana Chief Editor Daniil Kislov.

Radio Liberty: “We hope Tajik authorities understand their mistake and reinstate our journalists’ accreditation”

Radio Liberty: “We hope Tajik authorities understand their mistake and reinstate our journalists’ accreditation”

29.11.2016 09:36 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

Late last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan revoked the accreditations of six journalists of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) based in Dushanbe. The exterior ministry provided no comments on the decision. However, the journalists’ accreditation was revoked after RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported on a new appointment for Rukshona Rakhmonova, President Emomali Rakhmon’s daughter. RFE/RL Director of Communications Joanna Levison commented on the situation, on why did disagreeable journalist were “punished” and how the Dushanbe bureau is planning to continue its work in an interview with Fergana.

Uzbekistan: Stop punitive psychiatry on Jamshid Karimov!

Uzbekistan: Stop punitive psychiatry on Jamshid Karimov!

25.11.2016 09:14 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Independent journalist Jamshid Karimov has been forcibly and secretly contained in a psychiatry hospital in Samarkand since January 2012. At the orders of the ruling elite in Tashkent, the doctors there prevent any information on the journalist’s health from circulating; Mr Karimov is kept in complete isolation from the outer world and only allowed to rarely see his daughter. It is obvious that he is no danger to society and should not be confined for such a long period to a closed ward in a hospital. Jamshid’s friends and colleagues are convinced that he is being held against his will and that the "treatments" he undergoes bear the all the hallmarks of punitive psychiatry.

Living in someone else’s life. The story of a transgender woman from Tajikistan (18+)

14.11.2016 10:50 msk Human Rights Interview Uzbekistan

Until very recently, she had a male name and surname as well as men’s clothes. However, she confesses, she never felt comfortable in a men’s body. She wanted to wear dresses, use mascara and feel herself a real woman. She felt herself to be a woman since she was a child but did not know what to do about it. After all, in Tajikistan, where she was born and raised in, discussions of transgender matters are unacceptable. So obtaining permission for gender change turned out to be a very big challenge. Moreover, the new image of Mila (not her real name) was rejected even by her own mother. Having undergone humiliation, insults, taunting and alienation by closest people, Mila decided to leave Tajikistan and start a new life in a different country.

Any attack on representative of authority is equated to terrorist act in Kazakhstan. But why?

Any attack on representative of authority is equated to terrorist act in Kazakhstan. But why?

09.11.2016 13:37 msk Human Rights Politics Kazakhstan

The fate of Ruslan Kulebayev, the best known “terrorist” in Kazakhstan at this time, will be known on November 2. Prosecutor Jarkyn Bakashbayev is asking to implement the capital punishment. Even though Kazakhstan does not apply the capital punishment due to an indefinite moratorium, charges of terrorism could lead to such a verdict even if the assassination of 10 individuals that Kulebayev is charged with is discounted.

Impunity endangers our right to know

Impunity endangers our right to know

25.10.2016 18:44 msk Human Rights Politics Central Asia

“Over the past decade, more than 800 journalists have been killed in the line of duty, and only 8% of these cases have been resolved. These are the official figures of the Director-General of UNESCO, an organization of 195 Member States. The 92% unresolved cases tells the public that free expression is not protected. It tells them that society cannot ensure their right to information. This is why every Government must act upon its responsibility to investigate crimes against journalists. Every government has to act timely and thoroughly, if they are to set a precedent for other cases. If we allow any form of violence against journalists, we allow impunity to prevail.” - The article by Frank La Rue - UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information.

Uzbekistan: Everyone, yes, everyone is picking cotton. But two women taking photos

Uzbekistan: Everyone, yes, everyone is picking cotton. But two women taking photos

19.10.2016 10:42 msk Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

The state-run system of forced labour will further be implemented in Uzbekistan, and the Uzbek authorities will continue diligently hiding this from the World Bank and International Labour Organisation. The latter two, by the way, do not seem to be very keen to uncover and discover any violations—doing so is unnecessary at this time. This also means two genuinely human rights advocates will have to continue monitoring the situation despite problems and obstacles the local authorities continue mounting to prevent their activities. They call themselves Besstrashnye [The Fearless Ones]. The group includes Yelena Urlayeva, the leader of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (HRAU), and Malohat Eshonqulova, an independent journalist.

Punitive psychiatry gaining momentum in Kazakhstan

Punitive psychiatry gaining momentum in Kazakhstan

18.10.2016 09:41 msk Human Rights Politics Kazakhstan

Authorities and totalitarian countries often utilize physicians and medicines to suppress dissenting citizens and political opponents. Modern Kazakhstan is no exception. Those criticizing Astana risk being declared insane and ending up in psychiatric institutions.

Tajikistan’s imitation civil society

Tajikistan’s imitation civil society

10.10.2016 12:04 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan

Civic activism has been on the rise in Tajikistan in recent years. At first, groups of disgruntled women started breaking into opposition parties’ offices and western embassies, accusing the first of wanting to start a new war in the country, and the second of harbouring dissidents. Then the disgruntled women vanished, only to be replaced by student activists from pro-government youth organisations. At a time when any anti-government protest — not just a rally, a picket, demonstration or even some small gathering outside a government building — is broken up by the police in Tajikistan, members of these organisations are free to hold rallies and demos, block the streets and even cause mass unrest.

Uzbekistan: testing your cheating speed, or “Hares”, “Runners” and ten thousand dollars

Uzbekistan: testing your cheating speed, or “Hares”, “Runners” and ten thousand dollars

12.08.2016 19:31 msk Human Rights Interview Uzbekistan

“Welcome!”, reads a sign at the entrance to a university in Tashkent. “To what?” one may ask, “to a world of bribes, lies and hypocrisy?” The results of the August 1st nationwide entrance exams to all universities in Uzbekistan will be announced in the next few days. Despite the countless measures taken to prevent cheating (complete shutdown of text messaging services in the country, armies of policemen and professors patrolling the exam rooms, etc.), prospective students rely not on their smarts, but on cheat sheets and the help of their resourceful intermediaries who have everything “under full control”. “Ferghana”, managed to speak to one of the parents who did everything to make sure his child gets accepted to a university with a full scholarship. The following account is with regard to a university located in one of the provinces of Uzbekistan. The names of the people in this account have not been disclosed upon their request.

«Hizb ut-Tahrir» and Donald Trump: mutual contempt

«Hizb ut-Tahrir» and Donald Trump: mutual contempt

15.06.2016 15:31 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan

Donald Trump’s Islamophobic speeches during campaign meetings seriously shook the US’s credibility in the eyes of ordinary Muslims. Well-known Islamic theologians say that if Trump wins the elections, Muslim part of the world will lose its faith. The faith in the American dream and the success of the democratic path. The Muslim world has been forced to pay attention to Donald Trump’s anti-Islamic rhetoric, not only due to the fact that he is a contender for the presidency, but also because he questioned the basic human values – human rights and freedom of religion.

Kazakhstan: Land Protesters Face Police Rampage

Kazakhstan: Land Protesters Face Police Rampage

25.05.2016 12:04 msk Human Rights Business Politics China Kazakhstan

Street protests, against plans to step up land privatisation, were broken up by police in many of Kazakhstan’s largest cities on Saturday. The demonstrations were organised by informal on-line networks, rather than by any of the recognised opposition groups. Here are key points from a report by Andrei Grishin (Almaty).

UN Human Rights Committee urges Kyrgyzstan to release Azimjan Askarov, quash guilty verdict

UN Human Rights Committee urges Kyrgyzstan to release Azimjan Askarov, quash guilty verdict

23.04.2016 11:56 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

“UN experts have called on Kyrgyzstan to immediately release jailed political activist and journalist Azimjan Askarov, after finding that he had been arbitrarily detained, held in inhumane conditions, tortured and mistreated, and prevented from adequately preparing his trial defence,” reads in part a press release the UN Committee for Human Rights released last week. “The UN Human Rights Committee, which considered a complaint brought by Mr Askarov against Kyrgyzstan, also called for his conviction to be quashed.”

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.”

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