21 october 2017

Central Asia news

The administrative resource is not enough. The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan told about «the most democratic elections»

The administrative resource is not enough. The Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan told about «the most democratic elections»

13.10.2017 09:08 msk Politics Kyrgyzstan

The situation around the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, scheduled for 15 October, continues to heat up. The national authorities themselves are afraid of possible unrest and external interference in the voting process, and the opposition expresses concerns by the flow of complaints about its principal candidate, Omurbek Babanov. Exclusively for Fergana, Elnura Alkanova talked to the member of the Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan (CEC) Gulnara Jurabayeva, who explained why rumours about the upcoming riots are groundless, what complaints on the candidates they received and why the power protégé lacks administrative resource to win.

Pre-election Kyrgyzstan: Double game of President Atambayev?

Pre-election Kyrgyzstan: Double game of President Atambayev?

13.10.2017 01:11 msk Analytics Interview Kyrgyzstan

Election of the new head of Kyrgyzstan will be held on Sunday, 15 October. The closer the time of voting, the more bold statements the incumbent president allows himself. He managed to spoil relations not only with his former colleagues. Speaking on 7 October, at the ceremony of awarding teachers, a little too passionate amid election, Almazbek Atambayev "hit" the head of neighboring Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, having managed to insult not only the leader but the country and the government together.

Opium for the President: Religion and Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming elections

Opium for the President: Religion and Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming elections

04.10.2017 08:12 msk Politics Religious life Kyrgyzstan

Religion has traditionally been a delicate topic for Kyrgyzstan. Even though the overwhelming majority of the Republic’s population identifies as Muslim, no presidential candidate has been in any hurry to touch upon the topic of religion in their election manifestos. Is the political elite ignoring the burning questions and challenges posed by the rise of religious extremism in Central Asia today?

Rotten method: Kyrgyzstan actively discusses the ethnicity of the presidential candidate?

Rotten method: Kyrgyzstan actively discusses the ethnicity of the presidential candidate?

27.09.2017 09:16 msk Analytics Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

If the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, scheduled on 15 October, would have conducted today the clear winner would be Omurbek Babanov. The charismatic, strong-willed and young politician, he has the advantage above all his competitors. And first of all far from the candidate from the party of power Sooronbay Jeenbekov. And it frightens someone. Babanov will become president if the elections are fair, about most independent observers cast huge doubts on including me. Therefore, the vilest method of denigrating a competitor is active - the ethnic.

Criminals and Officials in Kyrgyzstan: Who is Covering Whom?

Criminals and Officials in Kyrgyzstan: Who is Covering Whom?

15.09.2017 13:08 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

“Krysha” (or “krisha”) in Russia means “roof” or “cover”. The term born in the 1990s when the rule of law was weak and racketeers protected vulnerable entrepreneurs from other gangsters for a fee or a share of its gain. Later, central or local government officials started "covering" business themselves. Historically, whenever crime bosses amass a particular influence in a society, they try to legalise themselves – through business by buying up shares in large firms under a false name, or through politics by standing for public office or holding positions in the bureaucracy. Same is in Kyrgyzstan.

Four years for journalist who opposes Islam in Kyrgyzstan

Four years for journalist who opposes Islam in Kyrgyzstan

13.09.2017 16:31 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Kyrgyzstan

On 12 September, the District Court in Bishkek sentenced journalist Zulpukar Sapanov to four years in prison finding him guilty of "inciting inter-religious hostility". Sapanov wrote and published the "Kydyr sanjyrasy" (literal translation - "Genealogy of the forefather Kydyr") book in which the author merely noted that once in the ancient times the Kyrgyz were not Muslims.

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan preferred to resolve border issue secretly

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan preferred to resolve border issue secretly

06.09.2017 23:21 msk Ferghana Valley Politics Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

On 5 September, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Bishkek to sign the agreement on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. Many experts, including the leadership of both republics, are considering the first visit of the Uzbek president to Kyrgyzstan in 17 years as a sign of warming of bilateral relations. The delimitation and demarcation of 80 percent of the border are on the agenda. Skeptics point out that the treaty was prepared hastily and it is still unclear what specific sections of the border are disputed.

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.

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.

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.

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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