19 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.

Believe not, fear not and ask not: Russia “disowns” Turkmen opposition figure

Believe not, fear not and ask not: Russia “disowns” Turkmen opposition figure

25.11.2014 23:05 msk Human Rights Politics Russia Turkmenistan

On 31 October 2014, the Presnenskiy District Court in Moscow dismissed the complaint lodged by Tatyana Shikhmuradova, the wife of Boris Sikhmuradov who is imprisoned for life in Turkmenistan. Mrs. Shikhmuradova lodged a lawsuit against the foreign affairs ministry of Russia, which has applied no effort over the last 12 years to find out about her husband’s fate. The most shocking event for Mrs. Shikhmuradova at the court was the foreign ministry representative’s claim that Mr. Shikhmuradov is not a citizen of Russia.

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.

Rabeya Kadeer: “The USSR’s fate awaits China”

Rabeya Kadeer: “The USSR’s fate awaits China”

09.11.2014 00:42 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia China Kazakhstan

The Xinjiang Autonomous Region (XUAR) has been unstable over the last several years: Some in the local Uighur population are unhappy with the way the Chinese authorities are handling the region and are demanding independence from Beijing. Armed clashes between the Uighur population of the region and the Chinese authorities often take place in XUAR. But who actually is behind all these terrorist acts? Could one be expecting a Hong Kong-style scenario in XUAR and Tibet? Rabeya Kadeer, the currently exiled leader of the Uighur opposition, spoke with a reporter of the Kazakh weekly magazine ADAM bol (Guljan Yergaliyeva, editor in chief) over the phone from Washington D.C., USA.

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.

DRD Partnership: Gulnara Karimova under house arrest, while “global support grows”

DRD Partnership: Gulnara Karimova under house arrest, while “global support grows”

16.10.2014 10:39 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

A new letter DRD Partnership circulated late Tuesday is entitled “Recent reports about Gulnara are false and deliberately misleading.” “Gulnara” here is the elder daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, while DRD Partnership is a London-based consulting company that calls itself “an official representative” of the beleaguered and disgraced Uzbek “princess.” This statement Gulnara Karimova’s representatives released is devoid of any specific information and only contains a collection of high-flown sentences. The letter provides no details as to who are “those keeping Gulnara under house arrest” and what “political gain” they are pursuing. No light has been shed on those exerting “pressure of objection from all those around the world and within Uzbekistan” and demanding justice for Gulnara. Seeking more information on “a number of recent reports” within the letter proved equally futile.

Few hundred Chinese, jihad and deserted square – entire village population

Few hundred Chinese, jihad and deserted square – entire village population

13.10.2014 13:40 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia Tajikistan

On 10 Oct 2014, a protest rally was planned in Dushanbe per announcements the leader of the oppositionist Gruppa 24 Umarali Kuvvatov made on social networks. The group’s plans included people taking to streets and waving “Tajikistan demands changes,” “Tajikistan without Rakhmon,” “Fair elections,” “Life with dignity” slogans.

Uzbek-Tajik ties improving: The role Tajik plays in Uzbekistan

12.10.2014 23:11 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Central Asia Tajikistan Uzbekistan

The text of the entire article below, save minor addenda, is identical with a report carried by the OSCE website. The main findings of said report were delivered at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on 29 Sep 2014.

Uzbek President will visit Prague after all. If case he wins next elections. Anyone doubtful he will fail?

Uzbek President will visit Prague after all. If case he wins next elections. Anyone doubtful he will fail?

07.10.2014 09:37 msk Business Politics Uzbekistan

Uzbek President Islam Karimov, whose trip to Prague was cancelled and indefinitely postponed, will be able to travel to the Czech Republic in 2015, in case he wins the next elections and remains president. An article carried by the Prague Post on October 6 was entitled “Uzbek Dictator to Visit Prague in 2015”. According to the publication, Hynek Kmonichek, head of the Czech Presidential Office foreign affairs section, informed the journalists about the invitation. At the moment, according to the Czech News Agency, Mr. Kmonichek is currently paying a visit to Uzbekistan.

Parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan: Another show for foreigners

Parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan: Another show for foreigners

06.10.2014 10:40 msk Politics Uzbekistan

On September 11, the Central Elections Committee of Uzbekistan turned the green light for political parties: they can now officially launch their pre-election campaigns, which was supposed to start mid-September. The actual parliamentary elections for seats in the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis (the parliament) are scheduled for 21 Dec 2014. In many democratic nations the launch of pre-election campaigns trigger a noticeable societal movements in public life. But Uzbekistan is different. Although more than two weeks passed since the campaign are officially launched, there is almost no single indication of the upcoming political event, despite the fact it is the most significant event of its kind this year.

“Until the very end”: Human Rights Watch issues report on political prisoners in Uzbekistan

“Until the very end”: Human Rights Watch issues report on political prisoners in Uzbekistan

29.09.2014 04:01 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Human Rights Watch presented a report entitled “‘Until the Very End’: Politically Motivated Imprisonment in Uzbekistan” in Warsaw, Poland. The 121-page document is based on 150 in-depth interviews with the relatives of political prisoners, their lawyers, human rights activists and former Uzbek officials. The report author Steve Swedrlow of HRW told Fergana the compilation of the report in question took six years.

That awkward moment! Gulnara Karimova has a new PR team

That awkward moment! Gulnara Karimova has a new PR team

23.09.2014 12:12 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Uzbekistan

Many Russian and European mass media circulated images depicting Gulnara Karimova rudely held by hands by people in fatigues. Ms. Karimova’s “official representative,” Locksley Ryan of Davidson Ryan Dore, provided the images in question. Obviously, this press release sheds no light whatsoever to the status quo Gulnara Karimova is in. If anything, it only stirred more questions. We decided to ask Jelena Kudelko of Davidson Ryan Dore as she was indicated as a contact person in the press release. Jelena asked to provide her with written questions and was quite quick to respond.

Recep Erdogan’s “Crimea dilemma”

Recep Erdogan’s “Crimea dilemma”

19.09.2014 10:23 msk Analytics Politics Russia Turkey, Republic of

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, in which it refused to accept the outcomes of elections in Crimea, which took place on September 14 of this year. There is nothing unexpected in the move, because the same statement sheds light on Turkey’s well-known principle position concerning the “Crimean issue”: “Turkey does not recognize the illegal inclusion of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea [by the Russian Federation]. In this connection, our country finds the September 14 elections invalid.” Such statements, which conform to the position of the majority among the international community, have regularly been voiced from Ankara. The contrary would be surprising actually.

TeliaSonera and Uzbekistan: A mismatch?

TeliaSonera and Uzbekistan: A mismatch?

10.09.2014 23:50 msk Analytics Business Politics Uzbekistan

Several sources of Fergana in Tashkent partially confirm information on the probable departure of the TeliaSonera Swedish-Finnish Telecommunications Concern from the mobile communications market of Uzbekistan. The reasons behind such a move are quite obvious.

Uzbekistan: Festivities for the chosen few, the nation only seen in the crowd scene!

Uzbekistan: Festivities for the chosen few, the nation only seen in the crowd scene!

03.09.2014 07:13 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is marking the 23rd anniversary of its independence this year. Solemn festivities took place in Tashkent with the participation of President Islam Karimov. However, many Tashkent residents do not share the joy of “the greatest and dearest holiday,” while one can easily see hopelessness and despair in the eyes of residents in other parts of the country. When requested to share thoughts about their happy lives, they promptly start describing it in rather negative terms and harsh terms, often peppering their stories with swear words. Because people are tired of waiting for that “bright future” the authorities have been promising for over two decades, and the majority of the population started openly expressing their outrage with their arbitrariness.

Other news

Media headlines

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

Eurasianet Kyrgyzstan’s Islamic State Hysteria Feeds on Conjecture, 04.11.2014

RFE/RL Video Provides Evidence That Uzbek IS Militants Are In Kobani, 29.10.2014

News Observer Pakistan experts expect more defections to the Islamic State, 28.10.2014

OpenDemocracy How ISIS impacts on Turkey’s daily life, 25.10.2014

RIAN Aral Sea Dilemma: Human Security and Climate Change Issues, 25.10.2014

GateStone Institute Turkey: The "Great Muslim Democracy", 25.10.2014

Asia Times Uzbek president faults Soviet system, keeps relics, 24.10.2014

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