25 may 2016

Central Asia news

Kazakhstan: Land Protesters Face Police Rampage

Kazakhstan: Land Protesters Face Police Rampage

25.05.2016 12:04 msk Human Rights Business Politics China Kazakhstan

Street protests, against plans to step up land privatisation, were broken up by police in many of Kazakhstan’s largest cities on Saturday. The demonstrations were organised by informal on-line networks, rather than by any of the recognised opposition groups. Here are key points from a report by Andrei Grishin (Almaty).

Lost childhood in the «Caliphate»

Lost childhood in the «Caliphate»

20.05.2016 17:05 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan

According to the special services of Kyrgyzstan, about 140 minors were deported from the Republic of Iraq and Syria, who are now held in the military training bases of ISIS. Among them, the vast majority of children are under the age of 14. According to the human rights organizations more than 600 children from Central Asia are on the territory of Syria and Iraq that is controlled by ISIS.

Washington and Sanjar Umarov want to shed light on Uzbek Kleptocracy money

Washington and Sanjar Umarov want to shed light on Uzbek Kleptocracy money

27.04.2016 02:27 msk Analytics Business Politics Interview Uzbekistan

A public discussion to address the issue of where the Uzbek funds frozen in Swiss banks could be directed, took place in Washington, DC, on April 20. Sanjar Umarov, a former entrepreneur and Prisoner of Conscience, participated in the Washington discussion about the possible allocation of forfeited funds. Our news agency followed up with Sanjar Umarov in more detail about his claims and what his vision is regarding further confiscation and distribution of said monies.

UN Human Rights Committee urges Kyrgyzstan to release Azimjan Askarov, quash guilty verdict

UN Human Rights Committee urges Kyrgyzstan to release Azimjan Askarov, quash guilty verdict

23.04.2016 11:56 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan

“UN experts have called on Kyrgyzstan to immediately release jailed political activist and journalist Azimjan Askarov, after finding that he had been arbitrarily detained, held in inhumane conditions, tortured and mistreated, and prevented from adequately preparing his trial defence,” reads in part a press release the UN Committee for Human Rights released last week. “The UN Human Rights Committee, which considered a complaint brought by Mr Askarov against Kyrgyzstan, also called for his conviction to be quashed.”

Uzbek expert criticizes World Bank over monitoring of forced labour

Uzbek expert criticizes World Bank over monitoring of forced labour

09.12.2015 19:06 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

In late November, the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the World Bank published the monitoring results of the use of child and forced labour during the cotton harvest in 2015 in Uzbekistan. The experts of the ILO, as the report says, «could not find conclusive evidence which can prove child or forced labour was used during the cotton harvest season in 2015 in Uzbekistan».

Uzbek rights advocate in need of rights advocate

Uzbek rights advocate in need of rights advocate

24.11.2015 22:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

When Uzbekistan has finally released well-known politician Murad Jurayev, who spent 21 years behind bars, very few naively thought the move was an indication of the Islam Karimov regime’s weakening after a quarter-century state-sponsored elimination of its critics and opponents. Only several days later following the joyful event of Mr Jurayev’s freedom, yet another sad event occurred: human rights advocate Uktam Pardayev has been arrested in Jizzakh. The defender of human rights faces the traditional accusations of “extortion” and “fraud”. But what has this man actually done to cause ire of the Uzbek authorities?

Taalatbek Masadykov: “Radical religious views can quite realistically fracture Afghanistan”

Taalatbek Masadykov: “Radical religious views can quite realistically fracture Afghanistan”

19.11.2015 15:44 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan

Taalatbek Masadykov, the former political director of the UN Special Political Mission to Afghanistan in 2002-2014, has had a conversation with Central Asia expert Arkadiy Dubnov to discuss the current events in Afghanistan and whether Taliban or IS could or should be negotiated with. They also discussed the parties interested in the continuation of war in Afghanistan; the current and past Afghan presidents; IS’s funding sources; the Pashtos and the ethnic composition of Afghanistan; and threats Central Asia is facing currently.

Political prisoner released in Uzbekistan after 21 years, Sec Kerry visit

12.11.2015 18:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Jurayev


Murad Jurayev, a well-known Uzbekistani oppositional political prisoner, has been released from prison on November 12. Mr Jurayev was accused of entering “criminal conspiracy” with Muhammad Salih, the leader of the Erk opposition party. According to the Uzbek authorities, Messrs Salih and Jurayev wanted to organise a violent seizure of power.

Reflections on Islam Karimov’s image

04.11.2015 02:15 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan



This fatigued man is well into his seventh decade. He was a boss of this or that kind more than half of his life. For a quarter-century he was under the rule of the despised others in Soviet times, and he has been Boss No. 1 in an independent country for almost the same number of years. At this time, only God is above him, as the saying goes.

Fire destroys Uzbek rights advocate’s house, computers; items missing (+photo, video)

Fire destroys Uzbek rights advocate’s house, computers; items missing (+photo, video)

02.11.2015 20:57 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Fire broke out in the house of Dmitriy Tikhonov, a journalist and rights advocate, and destroyed part of the house and property in the town of Yangiabad 15km from the city of Angren in Tashkent Region on October. The cause of fire is unknown at this time. The house owner learnt about the fire only on October 26, because he left Angren for some time after learning on September 30 he was under surveillance.

Vote or die: Who benefits from blasts in Turkey

Vote or die: Who benefits from blasts in Turkey

16.10.2015 10:35 msk Politics Turkey, Republic of

The intense explosions that rocked Ankara on October 10 caused the deaths of some 100 individuals and wounds of scores. A rally for peace organised by trade unions and leftist organisations, including Kurdish ones, ended in a bloody mess. The Turkish authorities, undoubtedly, will attempt to lay the blame squarely on the Kurds and IS (a so-called “Islamic State”). But doing so will be not be easy, since there is no single compelling proof for the claim. The IS is maintaining de-facto neutrality with Turkey and able to sell oil thanks to Turkey only. Further, Turkey is one of the major corridors through which the IS obtains weapons and new recruits as cannon fodder. All that the IS was able to come up with was “We are happy the communists got blown up.”

Uzbek currency drops to 5k per dollar on “black market”

Uzbek currency drops to 5k per dollar on “black market”

15.10.2015 10:51 msk Analytics Business Politics Uzbekistan

Another important “threshold” has been passed in the Uzbek currency market: the US dollar now trades at over 5,000 soums. Illegal currency converters on the market are purchasing the US dollar at 4,950 soums and selling at 5,030. Thus, the value of the Uzbek national currency dropped 45.7% since the beginning of this year.

Uzbekistan: Hey, World Bank, attention here!

Uzbekistan: Hey, World Bank, attention here!

29.09.2015 01:32 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Uzbekistan

According to information Fergana obtained from several sources, thousands of residents of the city of Angren in Tashkent Region are engaged in this year’s cotton-picking campaign. The area is of particular interest because its one of the sites the World Bank has financed a project. One of the conditions for obtaining a credit from WB was the prohibition of using forced labour in this very area. Simply put, the Uzbek government is grossly violating the conditions of an agreement with a foreign donor. Observers are under the impression that the World Bank leadership is simply failing to notice this screaming violation. Our correspondents on the ground contributed to the following article.

Uzbekistan: “We are slaves, indeed!” A photojournalist’s cotton-picking stint (+photos, video)

Uzbekistan: “We are slaves, indeed!” A photojournalist’s cotton-picking stint (+photos, video)

23.09.2015 13:39 msk Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

The authorities of Uzbekistan relentlessly try to convince that doctors, educators and their students volunteer to travel and contribute to agriculture activities every autumn. Yet, critics of the incumbent authorities continuously maintain forced labour and extortion are rampant on the part of state officials; the conditions of living and food are slavish; diseases and traumas are ubiquitous, while death, too, occurs among the cotton-pickers that have been pulled out of civilised life and thrown onto the “cotton front”. But who is right? In order to get to the root of the problem and experience a personal encounter, photojournalist Timur Karpov travelled to a cotton field from his native Tashkent.

“Russia’s southward turn”: Who benefits?

“Russia’s southward turn”: Who benefits?

18.09.2015 00:59 msk Analytics Business Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan China Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

We discussed Russia’s “southward turn”, a much-discussed topic lately, with Vladimir Milov, a well-known Russian economist, politician and Demokraticheskiy Vybor Party Chairman. After all, the roads to “long monies” that are vital for any economy’s survival are closed in the Europe-bound directions. These “road” will likely remain inaccessible for a long time, and the world does not have too many other alternatives to offer. What benefits and risks does this southward repositioning has to offer? What are our southern neighbours’ perspectives in terms of cooperation with Russia? Do it entail benefits for them, including the Central Asian nations?..

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