20 october 2019
Central Asia news
In Kazakhstan, most of the media owners are hiding behind their formal founders. But, as they say, if the secret is known to three – then everyone knows this. Having talked with experts Fergana News Agency made its own list of the true owners of the Kazakh media.
In Ashgabat, the campaign to dismantle individual satellite dishes from the facades and roofs of multi-storey houses has coming to an end. However, the ‘dishes’ remain popular throughout the rest of the country. In provincial towns and villages, even in auls completely fully consisting of jerry housing lost in Karakum dunes, each family has one or even two antennas rotated in the direction of the Yamal-401 and Hot Bird space communication satellites at a certain angle. TV viewers, sometimes not understanding a word on other languages than native ones, nevertheless watch the programmes of Russian, Uzbek, Turkish, Chinese, European TV channels on a regular basis.
The passing of Islom Karimov, the first president of independent Uzbekistan, in the late summer of 2016 raises important questions for the whole Central Asian region and for those who study it. Amid the clamour of media coverage about prospects for change under the leadership of interim President Shavkat Mirziyoyev—some of it resorting to clichés that have been well-critiqued in the pages of this journal—this Forum provides the opportunity for a longer and more nuanced view about the contemporary shape of the ‘Uzbek model,’ how it works, and how it is lived.
Editors and journalists from the Justice for All monthly legal bulletin face charges under criminal defamation laws and, if found guilty, might see their publication closed. The second major libel case against the Kyrgyz press will be heard on July 29 in Jalalabad city court in southern Kyrgyzstan. Only today, the editor-in-chief of another popular opposition newspaper, De-facto, charged with publishing deliberately false accusations against a city official, appeared in court.
Print-run (2,500 copies) of the independent newspaper Alkak was arrested in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, this Wednesday. The Bishkek police say the issue included a piece of religious-extremist nature. The editorial office in its turn maintains that the issue included no articles on religious matters.
Business ventures of the ex-Kyrgyz president's family remain in the focus of attention of the Western media