22 december 2014

Central Asia news

Ex-Irish Deputy Premier: «Azimjan Askarov must be free»

Ex-Irish Deputy Premier: «Azimjan Askarov must be free»

11.12.2014 13:55 msk Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Interview Kyrgyzstan

Eamon Gilmore, the former deputy prime minister and the former minister for foreign affairs of Ireland, visited Аzimjan Askarov, a human rights activists imprisoned for life, at the proposal of Front Line Defenders on the eve of the International Human Rights Day. Mr. Askarov has told about his case to Mr. Gilmore in details; the latter has then discussed the matter with Kyrgyz officials. Upon completion of his trip to Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Gilmore is planning to not only meet representatives of the EU and the UN to raise the issue of unjust conviction of Mr. Askarov, but also send a letter to the Kyrgyz president with a request to assist in freeing the world-renowned rights advocate. Mr. Gilmore has kindly agreed to an exclusive interview with Fergana.

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

Is Central Asia afraid of ISIS?

12.11.2014 17:57 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Several weeks ago ISIS (also known as ISIL and Islamic State) forces reached Turkey’s borders, destroying all ‘infidels’ in their path, by which they mean both Christians and Muslims belonging to other branches of Islam. Support for ISIS has also extended beyond its region: Afghan and Pakistani members of the Taliban have already begun to swear allegiance to this new radical Islamist movement. Specialists in politics and international relations, regional specialists, politicians and informed observers were asked what they think about the subject.

Carnegie Moscow presents Russo-Turkish cooperation in “turbulent neighborhood” report

Carnegie Moscow presents Russo-Turkish cooperation in “turbulent neighborhood” report

24.10.2014 13:41 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan China Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Pakistan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Carnegie Moscow Center presented the “Exploring the Prospects of Russian-Turkish Cooperation in a Turbulent Neighborhood” report compiled by the Carnegie Center and the Global Relations Forum (GRF) in Istanbul. The two organizations established a Working Group dedicated to exploring the potential for regional cooperation between Turkey and Russia under the leadership of Memduh Karakullukchu, vice chairman and president, Global Relations Forum (GRF), and Dmitri Trenin, director, Carnegie Moscow Center.

Speak Up for success

Speak Up for success

09.07.2014 23:47 msk Business Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Speak Up is part of the largest language school network in Poland, which belongs to the international capital group Empik Media & Fashion. In 2012 revenues of the Group were about PLN 3.2 billion (over 1 trillion USD). The language school division is represented by Learning System Group (LSG) which operates 115 schools with more than 100.000 students. LSG is the leader in teaching foreign languages in Central and Eastern Europe. Being listed in Warsaw Stock Exchange since 1997, EMF has become one of the leading distributors of language courses, media, clothing, cosmetics and children’s products in Central Europe. It includes well-known brands as Hugo Boss, River Island and Esprit. Our school has been recognized in the prestigious Book of Lists 2012 , taking first place in the category of number of students and offer. Speak Up specializes in teaching English to adults using a unique method that combines the most modern multimedia tools with classes conducted by highly qualified instructors. There are Speak Up schools all over Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

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.

Other news

Media headlines

Long War Journal Taliban publicize training camp in northern Afghanistan, 22.12.2014

Al Jazeera The Girls of the Taliban, 21.12.2014

OpenDemocracy The cost of digital silence in Turkey: 40 million euros, 20.12.2014

Cihan What next for Turkey?, 20.12.2014

The Diplomat Central Asia’s Hydropower Spat, 20.12.2014

Press TV Turkish people gather in Istanbul to protest media crackdown, 19.12.2014

CNN ISIS: From beheading to hacking, 19.12.2014

Today's Zaman Citizens across country protest media oppression and detention of journalists, 18.12.2014

Hindustan Times Kabul should not slip away, 18.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Gears Up to Vote for Rubberstamp Parliament, 18.12.2014

Threat Matrix The Peshawar attack: sickening, but no surprise, 17.12.2014

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban assault military high school in Peshawar, 16.12.2014

Reuters Turkish soccer fans go on trial accused of coup attempt, 16.12.2014

Today's Zaman Thousands gather across Turkey to protest police raids against media, 15.12.2014

Long War Journal Taliban attacks in Afghanistan surge as Coalition ends combat mission, 14.12.2014

Today's Zaman Turkish police raid Zaman building, attempt to detain editor, 14.12.2014

Worldbulletin Four more dissident Uzbeks are on assasination list -report, 14.12.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Turning To Russia For New Weaponry, 13.12.2014

Today's Zaman Human Rights Watch: Turkey’s security bill undermines rights, 11.12.2014

BBC What is jihadism?, 11.12.2014

Foreign Affairs Anand Gopal on Afghanistan and Iraq, 10.12.2014

AVFN TeliaSonera Won't Sue Former CEO Nyberg Over Uzbekistan Acquisition, 10.12.2014

Long War Journal Al Qaeda commander reported killed in drone strike in Pakistan, 09.12.2014

Eurasianet Bleak Climate Report Bad News for Central Asia and Its Dams, 09.12.2014

Reuters Telenor's CEO resigns from Vimpelcom's board amid probe, 08.12.2014

The Nation (Pakistan) Who will control Afghanistan?, 07.12.2014

TNS Is IS an imminent and real threat to Pakistan?, 07.12.2014

Rolling Stone Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State, 05.12.2014

Diplomat in Spain Uzbekistan, key for the future political scene in Asia, 05.12.2014

Hurriyet Western Turkish coal plant’s privatization completed for $1 billion despite workers' opposition, 02.12.2014

Washington Post Fred Hiatt: Uzbekistan - The tyranny you haven’t heard of, 01.12.2014

WDAM Islamic State group attacks Kobani from Turkey, 30.11.2014

Eurasianet Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Threaten Media for Terrorism Reporting, 26.11.2014

Today's Zaman Navi Pillay urges President Erdoğan to respect democracy, 25.11.2014

OpenDemocracy Iran: a 'bloody stain' on the nation, 25.11.2014

Fair Observer Central Asia Is Leaning East Toward an Energy-Thirsty China, 24.11.2014

RFE/RL 'Complex Factors' Pushing Kazakh Men, Women To Join IS, 21.11.2014

Haaretz.com Israeli high-tech companies helping Central Asian regimes spy on citizens, report says, 20.11.2014

Eurasianet U.S. Congress Takes On Central Asia Water Conflicts, 20.11.2014

Guardian Fears for Uzbekistan political prisoners as rights group gets rare access, 19.11.2014

The Long War Journal US military continues to claim al Qaeda is 'restricted' to 'isolated areas of northeastern Afghanistan', 19.11.2014

BBC Happier days in the Karimov family album, 19.11.2014

The News The ghosts and gains of North Waziristan, 18.11.2014

IWPR Enclave Issues Challenge Uzbek, Kyrgyz Leaders, 18.11.2014

Jarayon Mutabar Tadjibayeva: We can stop political repressions in Uzbekistan, 16.11.2014

Natural Gas Europe Could There Be a “Central Asian Nabucco”?, 10.11.2014

New Yorker What Kobani Means for Turkey’s Kurds, 09.11.2014

Eurasianet Central Asia's Desirable Militants, 09.11.2014

Forum18 KYRGYZSTAN: Religious freedom survey, November 2014, 07.11.2014

Today's Zaman Pro-Kurdish party faces threat of ban, says politician, 05.11.2014

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