20 august 2017

Central Asia news

Kazakhstan trials the Orthodox priest

Kazakhstan trials the Orthodox priest

15.08.2017 23:28 msk Human Rights Religious life Kazakhstan Russia

For the first time, the priest of the Orthodox parish is in the court charged with the violation of the law “On Religious Activities and Religious Associations.” In the village of Merke (Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan) on 14 August, Vladimir Vorontsov, the rector of the parish of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God Church, stood the first trial. An anonymous tip-off reported police that he, along with children from the Orthodox group of the weekend (Sunday school) and several parents conducted prayer meetings in the mountains.

Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan: intensive developments

Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan: intensive developments

11.08.2017 09:29 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is the only country in Central Asia that surprises with its unpredictable elections. Fergana News Agency with the assistance of its sources drew a picture of the current situation.

Is Uzbekistan opening? Tashkent will host OSCE Central Asia media conference

Is Uzbekistan opening? Tashkent will host OSCE Central Asia media conference

14.07.2017 22:21 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

The 19th Central Asia media conference named “Open Journalism in Central Asia” organised by the office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media will be held in Tashkent on 18-19 October 2017. It is expected that participants, “including journalists, representatives from governments, civil society organisations and academia from Central Asia and Mongolia along with international experts will discuss current challenges to media freedom in Central Asia and Mongolia” including “current trends in news media distribution and challenges related to the digital and increasingly mobile environment, and how to better safeguard media freedom whilst combatting hate speech,” as well as “the latest media freedom developments and best practices,” the OSCE website informs.

Kansas City Shuffle of Central Asia. Editorial by Ernest Zhanaev

Kansas City Shuffle of Central Asia. Editorial by Ernest Zhanaev

06.07.2017 21:32 msk Editorial Analytics Central Asia

This month of June brought us a contradictory timeline. Some governments are gaining a popular weight among ordinary citizens, while others are ignoring a wider opinion and a common sense. Any outsider can be lured by honeyed promises, finely drawn charts, glittering buildings from the future. Find optimists and ruin them with a reality.

Apotheosis of Kyrgyz justice

Apotheosis of Kyrgyz justice

04.07.2017 10:55 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

The President of Kyrgyzstan once again celebrates his victory. Almazbek Atambayev could manage to outdo his predecessors in his state post: he practically neutralised the opposition, divided civil and journalistic society, squeezed out dissenters from the country, he simply slandered the most “stubborn” media and human rights activists.

Dictator’s relatives. Nephew of late Islam Karimov granted refugee status in Ukraine escaping extradition to Uzbekistan

Dictator’s relatives. Nephew of late Islam Karimov granted refugee status in Ukraine escaping extradition to Uzbekistan

30.06.2017 15:51 msk Human Rights Politics Migration Russia Uzbekistan

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine denied the extradition request of Akbar Abdullaev by Uzbekistan, where he is accused of a number of economic crimes, his lawyer Oliver Wallash informed Fergana about it on 27 June. Akbar Abdullaev, 34, the son of Tamara Sobirova, the sister of the former first lady of Uzbekistan Tatyana Karimova, had already conviction in the past. “The extradition was denied for the reason of refugee status granted,” Oliver Wallash said in a telephone interview.

Human Rights Defenders: World Bank should press Uzbekistan for abandoning cotton slavery

Human Rights Defenders: World Bank should press Uzbekistan for abandoning cotton slavery

29.06.2017 15:18 msk Human Rights Business Cotton Uzbekistan

If you google “modern cotton slavery” phrase you would immediately understand what a country will be discussed. These words are tightly connected with Uzbekistan. Although, how much tightly? With the change of the head of state, the population of this country and civil society has had a weak hope of getting rid of the long-term cotton slavery. And while in autumn 2016 the situation in the cotton industry has not changed much, but human rights activists do not give up hope. Again and again, they try to draw the attention of the world community as a whole and of the World Bank which pursues its interests in this country, in particular, to this one of the major problems of Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan: mahalla waiting for President!

Uzbekistan: mahalla waiting for President!

15.06.2017 22:50 msk Editorial Analytics Business Politics Uzbekistan

It has been exactly six months since the new head of Uzbekistan took office. Sadness from the death of the first and beloved leader of an independent country has not yet completely left the hearts of Uzbek people. But the expectations of a bright future under the tutelage of the new leader ease the burden of losing the old one. TV and in newspapers are saying only good things about Islam Karimov, while people, it happens, are swearing and cursing “the father of all Uzbeks” for the fall of the living standard, for stagnation and for the lawless tyranny of those who must monitor the enforcement of the law.

Bluff or ‘ram fighting’ from Arkadag? Anti-corruption fight gaining momentum in Turkmenistan

Bluff or ‘ram fighting’ from Arkadag? Anti-corruption fight gaining momentum in Turkmenistan

15.06.2017 19:28 msk Human Rights Politics Turkmenistan

A modern history of independent and neutral Turkmenistan has fixed a tradition: if the government does not succeed, for example, the treasury becomes empty and there is nothing to pay many months of salary debts to civil servants, or the intimidated people are on the verge of displeasure, the power impersonated by the president is frantically looking for scapegoats.

Education in Uzbek language has no prospects in Kyrgyzstan

Education in Uzbek language has no prospects in Kyrgyzstan

13.06.2017 06:37 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

The second largest ethnic group in Kyrgyzstan is Uzbek: according to statistical data of 2015, there are about 900 thousand people, which is almost 15% of the total number of residents. At the same time, there is no opportunity for Uzbek youth to get a high-quality secondary education and even less a higher education.

Uzbekistan: Unprecedented public outcry at murder of 18-years-old student

Uzbekistan: Unprecedented public outcry at murder of 18-years-old student

05.06.2017 10:53 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 4 June at 12 am in Tashkent, an impromptu public action was held at the entrance to Bobur Park in Tashkent to collect signatures under the petition demanding “To punish those guilty of the death of Ibragimov Jasurbek” - a student of the Tashkent medical college brutally beaten in early May and died a month later in hospital after series of operations. Days before this action the letter of Jasurbek's mother's has been shared in the social networks telling that the names of the alleged killers of her son are known to everyone, however nobody has been brought to justice so far. Moreover, she said the Borovsky Tashkent Medical College management and staff, where Jasurbek studied, cover young criminals in collusion with their parents.

What Changes May Come? Editorial by Ernest Zhanaev

What Changes May Come? Editorial by Ernest Zhanaev

02.06.2017 11:53 msk Editorial Politics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

This May brought remarkable events, which will develop during summer vacations and will define how autumn will develop further. Surely, these are activities around presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan clearing and modifying political and media space for the pro-presidential candidate, or Uzbekistan summing its attempts to revive the economy through investment and improving its foreign image. How would Kazakhstan reconsider its economic policy and change its attitude towards rule of law to outrun its main economic rival - Uzbekistan? Whether xenophobia in Russia will die out. How Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will cope with doubts of its public about anti-corruption campaigns in both countries? These questions were raised in May and I will outline them for you.

‘Our authorities never mistake?’ Practice of protection of persons accused of extremism

‘Our authorities never mistake?’ Practice of protection of persons accused of extremism

01.06.2017 12:31 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Religious life Kyrgyzstan

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?

Kyrgyzstan major TV channel: Block Fergana and journalist Ulugbek Babakulov is enemy of people

Kyrgyzstan major TV channel: Block Fergana and journalist Ulugbek Babakulov is enemy of people

29.05.2017 16:21 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Russia

In the evening on 27 May 2017 the major television channel of Kyrgyzstan aired an 8-minute report with the speaking name ‘Instigators,’ in which the Bishkek journalist Ulugbek Babakulov was accused of inciting ethnic hatred, and the website of the Fergana News Agency was called ‘biased’ and called to be blocked on the territory of the republic. The reason for the report was an article about nationalistic statements in social networks published by Fergana on 23 May this year. Reporters believe that Fergana ‘disseminates provocative materials,’ trying to present Kyrgyzstan ‘a fascist state, whose population is completely nationalistic.’ The news story of the Public Television and Radio Company (OTRK) contains some fragments of this article, and suggestions of calling to a ‘severe criminal liability,’ as well as comments by ‘experts.’ In their opinion, journalists need ‘to jam the critical moments,’ and not ‘to drag out some sort of analysis of the social networks.’

Russia, Central Asia, migrants. Where and how extremism threatens?

Russia, Central Asia, migrants. Where and how extremism threatens?

25.05.2017 12:54 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Migration Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

The recent terror act in the St. Petersburg metro on 3 April, in the organisation of which Russian special services suspect people from Central Asia, exacerbated issues related to migration processes from the countries of this region to Russia. Last week in Moscow, the Sakharov Center jointly with the Yegor Gaidar Foundation organised a discussion during which experts discussed whether there is any ground to say that it is among the migrants that recruitment of terrorists takes place, and if so, what causes migrants to join the ranks of radical Islamists, what role is played by large-scale corruption, typical of most Central Asian countries, and whether it is possible to oppose it.

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