25 february 2018

Central Asia news

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

31.01.2018 17:59 msk Analytics Business Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

While strengthening border security can help prevent the Afghan conflict from spilling over into Central Asia, sustainable solutions to the out-of-control domestic radicalization processes in the region are much harder to find. And it is precisely here that Central Asia’s anti-terrorist measures are often counterproductive. In fact, the region’s political and economic makeup is further conducive to the rise of domestic extremism.

Special report: Market of teen suicide bombers in Afghanistan

Special report: Market of teen suicide bombers in Afghanistan

23.01.2018 12:14 msk Politics Afghanistan

Afghanistan has become one of the main links in the structure of the transnational market of suicide bombers which the so-called Haqqani network is actively developing. Fergana News presents the special report by its correspondent who talked to witnesses of the training of suicide bombers.

Who are considered extremist in Kazakhstan

Who are considered extremist in Kazakhstan

19.01.2018 17:24 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Kazakhstan

In 2017, from Kazakhstan, there was little news about outbursts of extremist or terrorist activity. Data on the number of people who were charged and imprisoned for committing crimes "against the peace and security of mankind" (under this heading all "extremist" and "terrorist" charges are grouped in the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan), is not yet available.

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics

19.01.2018 15:38 msk Analytics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Political Science is usually quite good at figuring out the main power players and relevant structures in the political systems of most countries. Those of us who are interested in Central Asia, however, will encounter an utterly incredible mess in the analysis of the political processes in the region. Mostly, the confusion centers around the term “clan” – a term that is so overused that it has been deprived of any clear meaning. This has led to a certain mystification of Central Asian politics around such poorly defined structures with little regard for the differences between clans, tribes and regional elites. So, this week, let us look at what clans really are, what their role is and if they are so special after all.

Twilight of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan: How Much Do Journalists and Human Rights Defenders Owe Two Presidents?

16.01.2018 13:13 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

Seven well-known Kyrgyz journalists and human rights activists must pay more than $1m in compensation to former President Atambayev and his successor Jeenbekov for insult and slander. Such an unprecedented amount is doubtlessly historic for Kyrgyz journalism and the country’s jurisprudence.

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

09.01.2018 22:06 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Kyrgyzstan

Shortly before Kyrgyzstan’s Presidential elections in October 2017, the prominent American analyst Ian Bremmer interviewed President Almazbek Atambayev in a long article for TIME Magazine and introduced Kyrgyzstan as a “genuine democracy in a part of the world that doesn’t have any.” Atambayev himself got plenty of praise as well: he came to power six years ago, “inheriting a country with weak institutions dominated by kleptocrats. It still doesn’t have many resources, but it now has plenty of committed democrats, among them Atambayev. In fact, he’s preparing to step down after a single term as president, as laid out in the country’s constitution.”

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

04.01.2018 16:22 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan

One of the main issues on the world agenda of the outgoing year is the fight against the terrorist threat. The success of the international forces in countering the so-called "Islamic State" (the banned terrorist organisation "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, IS, ISIS in English, or "Daesh" in Arabic) in Syria can be considered only a local and intermediate victory in this struggle. How serious are the concerns about the redeployment of IS forces to Afghanistan and the establishment of a new stronghold of the caliphate there, what threats to Russia and the countries of Central Asia are real, and what are - imaginary, how not to turn the fight against terrorism into witch-hunt - Fergana News has asked these and other questions from expert of the Centre for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, the head of the Analytical Group "Accents", political scientist Andrei Serenko.

«I would not dispute», the former defender of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev said in his interview to Fergana News

«I would not dispute», the former defender of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev said in his interview to Fergana News

28.12.2017 17:20 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 26 December, Tashkent journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev accused of an infringement on the constitutional order in Uzbekistan has suddenly rejected the assistance of lawyer Sergei Mayorov. He is the only defender who has managed to meet with the detained journalist two times, and who at least somehow has tried to influence the outcome of this case. However, he has not had much success: the investigators ignored all the lawyer's demands and refused to give him an opportunity to acquaint him not only with the course of the investigation but also with charges his client faces.

Boxing Day Package: A week in Central Asia at a glance

Boxing Day Package: A week in Central Asia at a glance

27.12.2017 14:19 msk Analytics Business Politics Central Asia

Preparations for Christmas festivities had left no time to follow all developments in Central Asia, and here we have made the digest of the most critical updates in the region.

'Go wherever you want.' Tashkent City project evicts people

'Go wherever you want.' Tashkent City project evicts people

18.12.2017 11:08 msk Human Rights Business Uzbekistan

On 11 December, the man, who introduced himself as the hokim (head of the administration) of the Shaykhantohur district, met with the tenants of three houses on Tashkent street on the site where the authorities plan to construct the pompous "Tashkent City" business complex. The official, in the company of other municipal staff, has announced that the residents are categorically obliged to vacate the housing in a ten-day period since the buildings around are already being demolished. On the questions of people, what should they do now and where to go, the answer, in its essence was: "We are not interested, go wherever you want." These words sounded if the tenants do not leave within ten days, they would be forcibly evicted by a court decision involving law enforcement. Given the sad experience of past years, there is no doubt about this perspective.

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

13.12.2017 09:44 msk Analytics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

There are numerous reports from the northern provinces of Afghanistan about the arrival of well-equipped militants, who do not hide their belonging to the IS terrorist group (the banned terrorist organisation "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, ISIS or IS Eng., "Daesh" Arab.) The Fergana News correspondent talked with residents, authorities, and learned the details of what is happening in the provinces of Balkh, Jowzjan and Faryab.

Turkmenistan - era of powerlessness. How daily terror substituted normal life

Turkmenistan - era of powerlessness. How daily terror substituted normal life

06.12.2017 01:19 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

Two wild cases, but unfortunately characteristic for Turkmenistan, occurred in a short period in different parts of the republic. Women, one of whom is 76 years old, and the other is slightly less than 68 years old, were viciously attacked. On the night of 28 to 29 October in Dashoguz, somebody threw stones in the windows of Khalida Izbastinova's flat shattering them. Two weeks later, on 14 November, in Ashgabat, Soltan Achilova was attacked in broad daylight. The "fault" of the first woman is that she is the mother of a Turkmen opposition and human rights activist, and the second is the correspondent of the "Azatlyk" Radio ("Freedom") banned in Turkmenistan.

Sexual harassment case - Kazakhstan is reluctant to observe international obligations

Sexual harassment case - Kazakhstan is reluctant to observe international obligations

30.11.2017 08:14 msk Human Rights Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan ignores one of the main world trends - intolerance of sexual harassment in the workplace. As if in contrast to the events taking place in the West, where the careers of passionate celebrities collapse one by one, Kazakhstani victims of harassment remain practically unprotected. No one can turn the tide even if the individual has been recognised as a victim of harassment at the international level.

Headscarf as symbol of faith in Kazakhstan

Headscarf as symbol of faith in Kazakhstan

29.11.2017 13:29 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Kazakhstan

In Western Kazakhstan, religious parents are suing the Ministry of Education: their daughters are not allowed to attend schools because they wear headscarves. Officials, representing a secular state, admit the possibility of a cross-claim - the failure to comply with parental responsibilities. Why is it important at all, do the girls wear headscarves in school or not, and what do parents and teachers think - Fergana News tells.

History of one strange transaction or what makes billionaire in Kazakhstan

History of one strange transaction or what makes billionaire in Kazakhstan

23.11.2017 03:17 msk Business Kazakhstan

Exactly ten years ago, the financial world first in Kazakhstan, and then in Italy, actively discussed a somewhat unusual transaction for those times. Strange, however, more likely for Kazakhstan - for the first time a big western company with a worldwide reputation acquired a private commercial bank in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh press optimistically referred this transaction to "Deal No. 1 for the entire banking sector of a young country," expressed confidence that it is "an indicator of the maturity of the Kazakh banking system and its attractiveness to the world market," and also promised a comfortable future to other local second-tier banks. After all, the precedent is created, and it is quite possible that, if desired, another buyer, as generous as the Italians, would appear. It seemed like an idyllic picture: create a bank and then sell it at a higher price to Western partners...

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