23 january 2018

Central Asia news

Who are considered extremist in Kazakhstan

Who are considered extremist in Kazakhstan

19.01.2018 17:24 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Kazakhstan

In 2017, from Kazakhstan, there was little news about outbursts of extremist or terrorist activity. Data on the number of people who were charged and imprisoned for committing crimes "against the peace and security of mankind" (under this heading all "extremist" and "terrorist" charges are grouped in the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan), is not yet available.

Twilight of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan: How Much Do Journalists and Human Rights Defenders Owe Two Presidents?

16.01.2018 13:13 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

Seven well-known Kyrgyz journalists and human rights activists must pay more than $1m in compensation to former President Atambayev and his successor Jeenbekov for insult and slander. Such an unprecedented amount is doubtlessly historic for Kyrgyz journalism and the country’s jurisprudence.

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The State of Democracy in Kyrgyzstan

09.01.2018 22:06 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Kyrgyzstan

Shortly before Kyrgyzstan’s Presidential elections in October 2017, the prominent American analyst Ian Bremmer interviewed President Almazbek Atambayev in a long article for TIME Magazine and introduced Kyrgyzstan as a “genuine democracy in a part of the world that doesn’t have any.” Atambayev himself got plenty of praise as well: he came to power six years ago, “inheriting a country with weak institutions dominated by kleptocrats. It still doesn’t have many resources, but it now has plenty of committed democrats, among them Atambayev. In fact, he’s preparing to step down after a single term as president, as laid out in the country’s constitution.”

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

The ISIS project is more than a sect. Fergana News interviews the expert on the dangers of the caliphate for Russia and Central Asia

04.01.2018 16:22 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan

One of the main issues on the world agenda of the outgoing year is the fight against the terrorist threat. The success of the international forces in countering the so-called "Islamic State" (the banned terrorist organisation "the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, IS, ISIS in English, or "Daesh" in Arabic) in Syria can be considered only a local and intermediate victory in this struggle. How serious are the concerns about the redeployment of IS forces to Afghanistan and the establishment of a new stronghold of the caliphate there, what threats to Russia and the countries of Central Asia are real, and what are - imaginary, how not to turn the fight against terrorism into witch-hunt - Fergana News has asked these and other questions from expert of the Centre for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, the head of the Analytical Group "Accents", political scientist Andrei Serenko.

«I would not dispute», the former defender of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev said in his interview to Fergana News

«I would not dispute», the former defender of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev said in his interview to Fergana News

28.12.2017 17:20 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 26 December, Tashkent journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev accused of an infringement on the constitutional order in Uzbekistan has suddenly rejected the assistance of lawyer Sergei Mayorov. He is the only defender who has managed to meet with the detained journalist two times, and who at least somehow has tried to influence the outcome of this case. However, he has not had much success: the investigators ignored all the lawyer's demands and refused to give him an opportunity to acquaint him not only with the course of the investigation but also with charges his client faces.

Boxing Day Package: A week in Central Asia at a glance

Boxing Day Package: A week in Central Asia at a glance

27.12.2017 14:19 msk Analytics Business Politics Central Asia

Preparations for Christmas festivities had left no time to follow all developments in Central Asia, and here we have made the digest of the most critical updates in the region.

Headscarf as symbol of faith in Kazakhstan

Headscarf as symbol of faith in Kazakhstan

29.11.2017 13:29 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Kazakhstan

In Western Kazakhstan, religious parents are suing the Ministry of Education: their daughters are not allowed to attend schools because they wear headscarves. Officials, representing a secular state, admit the possibility of a cross-claim - the failure to comply with parental responsibilities. Why is it important at all, do the girls wear headscarves in school or not, and what do parents and teachers think - Fergana News tells.

General Dostum returns. Who supports who?

General Dostum returns. Who supports who?

22.11.2017 00:49 msk Politics Central Asia Afghanistan

Contradictions among various political groups in the northern Afghan province of Balkh have been exacerbating. These developments are happening against the backdrop of rumours about the possible return of the vice-president of Afghanistan, the leader of ethnic Uzbeks, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, to the country, and unofficial reports about the resignation of the governor of Balkh, the influential politician, ethnic Tajik, Atta Mohammad Noor.

With rockets for Erdogan Turkey risks losing allies

With rockets for Erdogan Turkey risks losing allies

16.11.2017 22:48 msk Business Politics Russia Turkey, Republic of

Russia and Turkey have finally agreed on the sale of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems by Russia to Turkey. Russian state corporation Rosteh’s General Director, Sergei Chemezov, said in early November, that the contract value for the delivery of S-400 "Triumf" anti-aircraft missile systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) to Turkey exceeds $ 2 billion. More precisely, Ankara will pay about $ 2.5 billion for the purchase of four S-400 battalions, two of which will be assembled in Turkey. The Russian anti-aircraft missile systems will be purchased for a loan of Russian money; a pledge has already been made. Deliveries of the S-400 systems to Turkey will begin within the next two years.

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

14.11.2017 23:49 msk Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

In the northern provinces of Afghanistan—Sar-e Pul and Balkh—the positions of the militants of the so-called "Islamic State" are visibly strengthened. Muhammad Zahir Wahdat, the governor of the Sar-e Pul province, told a Fergana News correspondent that Daesh is trying to expand its presence in all districts of the province. The governor also asserted that there are districts in which the administration is the official power during the daytime, but nightfall brings the authority of Daesh. According to the official, local ethnic Turkmen and Uzbeks are now actively replenishing the ranks of the group. Active recruitment is being carried out, mainly in the districts of Kush Tapa and Sayad. According to the governor, the province administration has repeatedly informed NATO in northern Afghanistan and the central government of the country, but the centre does not provide sufficient assistance.

Russia’s migrant phobia primarily a political, ideological phenomenon: Sergei Abashin

Russia’s migrant phobia primarily a political, ideological phenomenon: Sergei Abashin

10.11.2017 00:08 msk Analytics Politics Migration Interview Central Asia Russia

On the eve of the centenary of the October Revolution, the Central Asian Analytical Network (CAAN) is returning to the question surrounding the administrative and territorial demarcation of Central Asia. In a conversation with the political scientist Raffael Sattarov, well-known Russian historian, ethnologist and anthropologist, Sergei Abashin, will shed light on some dark corners of the region’s Soviet period and reflect upon current questions that define the relationship between Russia and the Central Asian countries, most prominently nationalism, labour migration and post-Soviet integration.

Does Turkmenistan possess military might to counter influx of militants?

Does Turkmenistan possess military might to counter influx of militants?

08.11.2017 22:52 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan Turkmenistan

Over the past year, as the "Islamic State" has ceded its positions in Syria and Iraq, the architects of the world caliphate are said to be stepping up their activity in Afghanistan. In summer, the U.S. military reported it had liquidated three ISIL field commands in that country, and later the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that somebody had been transferring Islamic militants to Afghanistan using light helicopters without identification marks. At the same time, the decreasing defensive capability of the neighbouring Turkmenistan, which began, according to various sources, in the first half of 2010 could lead to the gradual penetration of the terrorist organisation into the territory of this post-Soviet republic. And Ashgabat's close and friendly relations with Afghan authorities could only simplify and speed up this process.

NYC Halloween terror attack suspect’s relatives express shock, disbelief

NYC Halloween terror attack suspect’s relatives express shock, disbelief

07.11.2017 18:38 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

"We are shocked. It’s a real nightmare. We cannot understand why he did it."
Ferghana News journalists and their Moscow colleagues visited the area near the Tashkent house of the parents of Sayfullo Saipov, the terror suspect in the Halloween attack in the United States. Saipov’s school headmaster, market sellers, director, and a policeman were all unwilling to talk about their former neighbour, and to discuss his terrible act. "A good boy, polite, brought my children to a music school. No beard, no religious conversations." "His leg was pulled in America, such people do not hurt other people, they do not kill people. Very sorry for him," they said.

What do we know about alleged NYC Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov

What do we know about alleged NYC Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov

02.11.2017 21:27 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Migration Uzbekistan

On 31 October, a terrorist attack ruined Halloween in New York. A 29-year-old man at the wheel of a rented truck drove at high speed onto a bike path running along the Hudson River, driving several blocks while crushing random passers-by and bicyclists. Then the pickup truck crashed into a school bus transporting children with disabilities, injuring several bus passengers. The culprit, with cries of "Allahu Akbar!", jumped from the truck, holding a paintball gun and a pellet gun in his hands. Arriving at the scene, police opened fire on him, wounding him in the abdomen. The suspect was hospitalised, underwent an operation, and afterwards interrogated. In all, eight were killed and 15 injured as a result of the terrorist attack.

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

25.10.2017 23:02 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

A museum dedicated to life and murder of a young and prominent journalist Alisher Saipov opens its doors in the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, Osh city, where ten years ago, on 24 October, two bullets, the assassin shot at the journalist, stopped his independent voice. It is a separate room in the house where the family of Alisher collected his personal belongings. On the hanger hangs a suit in which the journalist was on the day of the murder. Here you can see the books that Alisher liked to read, his photographic equipment, university degrees, certificates, copies of the newspaper he published...

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