23 april 2014

Central Asia news

Ex-Osh Mayor certain in victory at reelection

Ex-Osh Mayor certain in victory at reelection

17.12.2013 08:29 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

On 4 Dec 2013, the former mayor of the Kyrgyz capital, Isa Omurkulov, “voluntarily resigned” from his post; his counterpart in Osh was dismissed from post the very next day. The two events stirred a lot of emotions in the two largest Kyrgyz cities. Elections for the vacant positions are scheduled for January 2014. The issue of just who will preside in the Osh city hall is not only a pressing one for Osh resident, but it is also a sensitive one for the central authorities in this mountainous country. Obviously, Bishkek wants to have “a reliable handyman” in Osh, not a rebel—an unconditionally complying official, in short. However, one could perhaps be sure that opposition-minded Melisbek Myrzakmatov will recapture his former chair and will be a new, yet old head of the city.

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.

Western fast food in Kyrgyz south: kitsch, affordable, tasty

Western fast food in Kyrgyz south: kitsch, affordable, tasty

19.08.2013 13:02 msk Ferghana Valley Business Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Kyrgyzstan’s southern capital, the city of Osh, is known for its national cuisine and cooks. Only in Osh one would eat the world-renowned baked samsa, pilaf, lagman and a variety of shish kabobs and mantys. While the locals are, of course, well aware of the local foods, tourists find Osh’s “sweet spots” in its cafes and restaurants. Shahid Tepa is a heavily Uzbek-populated neighborhood in Osh. Owners of two local cafes decided to diversity their menus and add “Western flavor” to their traditional pilaf and shish kabob.

New place, old problems: No water or electricity. Glimpsing at life of resettles in Osh (images)

New place, old problems: No water or electricity. Glimpsing at life of resettles in Osh (images)

13.08.2013 23:11 msk Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

In April 2013, we wrote that ethnic Uzbek natives of Osh were forcibly moved from their homes to a suburban settlement of On Adyr (The Ten Hills). The houses that were preventing roads from expansion were destroyed and their owners were resettled. Fergana’s own correspondent Yekaterina Ivashchenko traveled to Osh again to see how their lives changed over the last several months. In order to reduce traffic on central streets, the Osh city hall launched the construction of new roads. Those roads, for some reason, had to be built on those areas where one-story houses are built, which are owned by ethnic Uzbeks (mahallas). Monuyev Street in Osh was one of such expanding roads, which resulted in the demolition of privately owned houses of Uzbeks. While the road construction is completed, half demolished houses are hastily covered with ad-hoc fences.

Lawyer Nurbek Toktakunov: Kyrgyz ombudsman’s power is in lack of authority

Lawyer Nurbek Toktakunov: Kyrgyz ombudsman’s power is in lack of authority

02.07.2013 23:35 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Kyrgyzstan

On 27 Jun 2013, the parliament of Kyrgyzstan adopted a decision to relieve Tursunbek Akun from the post of ombudsman. A special commission identified violations of the ombudsman’s oath as the main human rights advocate. Nurbek Toktakunov, a well-known lawyer with significant experience, is among those competing for the vacant position. Fergana interviewed him on what an ideal ombudsman must be like and what would his first action be, should he be appointed ombudsman.

What freedom?! Posing the “Uzbek question” to the OSCE representative for mass media

What freedom?! Posing the “Uzbek question” to the OSCE representative for mass media

02.07.2013 13:31 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

The Representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, recently praised the Kyrgyz authorities for “creating a favorable media environment.” However, she fell short of specifying what exact “favorable environment” she meant in a country, which lived through the horrors of two “revolutions” and the blood chilling interethnic carnage. What do such elevated praises testify to—the speaker’s incompetence in said matters or de-jour hypocrisy?

Kyrgyzstan: Kamchibek Tashiyev freed. Parliament’s dissolution imminent?

Kyrgyzstan: Kamchibek Tashiyev freed. Parliament’s dissolution imminent?

19.06.2013 09:58 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

In the evening of 17 June 2013, the second level court in Bishkek acquitted the three Kyrgyz MPs who were charged with an attempt to illegally usurp power in the country. Kamchibek Tashiyev, Talant Mamytov and Sadyr Japarov walked out of the preliminary detention facility they were in keeping their Member of Parliament status and the relevant immunity intact. Some analysts in Kyrgyzstan and abroad assume that this could set in motion the largest political crisis in three years [since the last revolution in 2010].

Sergey Abashin: Osh events at crossroads of oblivion

Sergey Abashin: Osh events at crossroads of oblivion

11.06.2013 01:37 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

Sergey Abashin, PhD in history, is a leading fellow at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology under the Russian Academy of Sciences. In his piece below, he ponders lessons and challenges of the bloody events in Southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010.

“Negotiations” lead to scuffle and power usurpation in Kyrgyzstan

“Negotiations” lead to scuffle and power usurpation in Kyrgyzstan

03.06.2013 01:37 msk Business Politics Kyrgyzstan

Disorders and disturbances, clashes between the “opposition” and law enforcement bodies, police officers fleeing from rally participants, freed “hostages,” loudmouthed speakers and hasty statements on the part of politicians. Does this all not sound too familiar? Yes, we did – here in Kyrgyzstan. This is how the first and the second revolutions here started. Could one say the incumbent authorities triggered the third one?

Silent approval: Judges “sustain” beating advocates in Kyrgyz courts

Silent approval: Judges “sustain” beating advocates in Kyrgyz courts

19.04.2013 22:06 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

Beating lawyers is becoming somewhat of a norm if they are defending suspects tried for June 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan. In 2010 alone, about 150 lawyers refused to represent and defend interests of ethnic Uzbeks, fearing harassment and beating by claimants and their supporters. Fergana wrote about specific incidences and attacks on lawyers, which were most frequent in the country’s south. But not all lawyers are backing down under such an enormous pressure and hazard. Unfortunately, their requests for protection at court are usually ignored. Fergana has written about several trials there. Over the last three years that elapsed since the June 2010 events, ethnic Uzbeks’ cases were tried at all judicial levels and some even reached the Supreme Court in Bishkek, in the country’s north. The lawyers were hopeful judges in the capital would be more civilized and would demand order in their courts. However, it was not so.

Kyrgyz state communications agency chief allows unblocking Fergana access

Kyrgyz state communications agency chief allows unblocking Fergana access

29.03.2013 11:15 msk Politics Internet Kyrgyzstan Russia

The head of the State Communications Agency (SCA) of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Almaz Kadyrkulov, told the Vecherniy Bishkek newspaper that local ISPs “have the right” to unblock access to the Fergana news agency’s website: “[Communications] operators have the right to unblock [access to] the website, and I don’t care at all.” Mr. Kadyrkulov said these words after a local court ruled to stop hearings on blocked access due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Kyrgyzstan: Revolutions no more?

Kyrgyzstan: Revolutions no more?

13.03.2013 09:00 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

It is impossible to say whether Kyrgyzstan is to face another, third this time, coup d’état this spring. There are “revolution prerequisites” along with indications that nothing will happen. Events taking place in Kyrgyzstan today are almost mirroring the events that precipitated the two “revolutions” three and eight years ago, respectively. Like then, everything starts with spring. And the explanation behind the choice of time is quite straightforward: It is much easier to rally on warm days as opposed to cold and rainy/snowy days or under the hot sun. The latter factors knock-off one’s desire to demand anything, let alone a lengthy process of regime change.

Kyrgyzstan: Rights activists continue insisting authorities objectively reconsider Azimjan Askarov case

Kyrgyzstan: Rights activists continue insisting authorities objectively reconsider Azimjan Askarov case

01.03.2013 01:23 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

Mr. Azimjan Askarov, a human rights activists and a journalist from Kyrgyzstan, has been imprisoned for over two years. All this time, Mr. Askarov’s both local and foreign colleagues have been pushing the Kyrgyz government to reconsider his case and hold an impartial investigation. Mr. Askarov is an ethnic Uzbek and he was charged with having allegedly committed a number of crimes, including murdering a police officer, in the aftermath of the tragic events in Southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. His lawyers have gathered piles of evidence on his innocence. However, these documents were handed to people, who have had a grudge against Mr. Askarov for a very long time because he published a number of serious crimes law-enforcing officers committed in the past. It is, therefore, no wonder that they denounced the lawyers’ evidence as irrelevant. But the human rights activists and advocates community is not losing hope. On 27 Feb. 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) voiced another appeal to reconsider Mr. Askarov’s case. The letter was addressed to the Prosecutor General of Kyrgyzstan Ms. Aida Salyanova.

Kyrgyzstan’s “own” aliens from abroad

Kyrgyzstan’s “own” aliens from abroad

12.02.2013 10:56 msk Migration Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

The tragic events of June 2010 in Southern Kyrgyzstan impacted not only the lives of those involved, but also of those abroad. Ethnic Kyrgyz citizens of Uzbekistan moved to Kyrgyzstan. The major reason is discrimination on part of Uzbeks and fear. However, having “returned” to their historical motherland, these people are facing numerous difficulties, although relevant laws grant them the “Kayrylman” [Returnee] status and guarantees social services. The law on “State guarantees for ethnic Kyrgyz” defines Kayrylman as “an ethnic Kyrgyz, a citizen of another country or a stateless person, who voluntarily returns to the historical motherland and obtains the Kayrylman status, which is a temporary legal status maintained by the bearer until obtaining the citizenship of Kyrgyzstan.”

Kyrgyzstan's Osh Mayor Myrzakmatov: The city savior and Man of Year?

Kyrgyzstan's Osh Mayor Myrzakmatov: The city savior and Man of Year?

10.01.2013 16:02 msk Ferghana Valley Kyrgyzstan

Is Melis Myrzakmatov really such a significant personality for Southern Kyrgyzstan? Is he really who he says he is? We talked to a native resident of Osh, who wished to remain anonymous, about this. He says Myrzakmatov is only pulling wool on people’s eyes and cares about his own personal benefit alone. “This is just another PR stunt. He has donned the crown of a restorer and is now walking around with it. It is sad to know that our mayor is just a conspicuous individual, and journalists are supporting that,” N. says.

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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