31 august 2014

Central Asia news

Birdamlik at ten: The leader’s personality stronger than ideas

Birdamlik at ten: The leader’s personality stronger than ideas

09.06.2014 12:12 msk Analytics Business Politics Interview Uzbekistan

The Birdamlik political opposition movement hosted a convention in St. Louis, USA, late April, and stirred a fair amount interest in the movement. We have written many articles on the founder of the movement, Mr. Bakhodir Choriyev, and his ideas for a nonviolent regime change in Uzbekistan; we have also posted the platform of the movement and Mr. Choriyev statement on the launch of a “velvet” revolution in Uzbekistan on our website. All these publications drew sympathy and a few smiles, for such plans seemed unfeasible. After all, what kind of velvet revolution in Uzbekistan could one talk about? But Mr. Choriyev convened like-minded people and the supporters of the democratic movement from Russia, Kazakhstan, Europe, Canada and the USA to the city of St. Louis, where he currently resides. The topic of nonviolent [civil] resistance seems to be gaining traction, and we decided to get to know Mr. Choriyev better.

Uzbekistan: The Karimov regime is still firm

Uzbekistan: The Karimov regime is still firm

20.02.2014 11:05 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Uzbekistan

On Monday, three closest allies of Gulnara Karimova were forcibly driven to the office of the Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan. These people are close to both her body and pocket, including her common-law husband, who is registered as the owner of her business assets in Uzbekistan and abroad. Such events are unfolding around the Uzbek president’s elder daughter, whose activities are closely investigated into and scrutinized by local investigation bodies since last fall. While some see the weakening regime’s inability to stop these troubles, I look at the situation from a different angle. The destruction of the shadow business empire Gulnara Karimova built does not indicate her father, the president of Uzbekistan, is growing weak; on the contrary, this is a sign of his might.

Steve Swerdlow: Czech President must cancel Islam Karimov’s visit to Prague

Steve Swerdlow: Czech President must cancel Islam Karimov’s visit to Prague

06.02.2014 23:13 msk Human Rights Politics Interview Uzbekistan

The president of Uzbekistan will pay a two-day visit to Prague on 21 Feb 2014. Human rights activists in Europe are preparing to greet Islam Karimov with protest rallies: Mutabar Tajibayeva, the head of the Fiery Hearts Club, promises that they will firmly demand Karimov free all political prisoners, cease tortures of detainees and inmates, allow an international inquiry into the Andijan events, ensure conditions for NGO activities, and guarantee the freedom of speech. Fergana interviewed Steve Swerdlow, a representative of Human Rights Watch, about President Karimov’s upcoming visit to Europe.

Gulnara Karimova: “I am not using the word ‘democracy,’ mind you!”

Gulnara Karimova: “I am not using the word ‘democracy,’ mind you!”

04.01.2014 22:53 msk Analytics Politics Uzbekistan

What would happen if the “war” between the Uzbek secret services and the president’s elder daughter ends with Gulnara Karimova’s victory? Head of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights Umida Niyazova maintains that such an outcome would certainly not lead to an alteration of the country’s authority system, which Islam Karimov shaped and consolidated.

Ex-Osh Mayor certain in victory at reelection

Ex-Osh Mayor certain in victory at reelection

17.12.2013 08:29 msk Analytics Politics Kyrgyzstan

On 4 Dec 2013, the former mayor of the Kyrgyz capital, Isa Omurkulov, “voluntarily resigned” from his post; his counterpart in Osh was dismissed from post the very next day. The two events stirred a lot of emotions in the two largest Kyrgyz cities. Elections for the vacant positions are scheduled for January 2014. The issue of just who will preside in the Osh city hall is not only a pressing one for Osh resident, but it is also a sensitive one for the central authorities in this mountainous country. Obviously, Bishkek wants to have “a reliable handyman” in Osh, not a rebel—an unconditionally complying official, in short. However, one could perhaps be sure that opposition-minded Melisbek Myrzakmatov will recapture his former chair and will be a new, yet old head of the city.

Family Ties: What Enriches Uzbekistan Secret Police Chief’s Family

Family Ties: What Enriches Uzbekistan Secret Police Chief’s Family

11.12.2013 00:35 msk Analytics Human Rights Business Politics Uzbekistan

First daughter Gulnara Karimova’s Twitter updates are the only insight into certain recent events in Uzbekistan. The closure of her charity, Forum Fund, suspension of her TV and radio stations’ licenses, and her hysterics on Twitter in response to those developments point to how powerful Uzbekistan’s National Security Service (NSS) and its chief, Rustam Inoyatov, are.

Uzbekistan: Erk Party… Is there such a party?

Uzbekistan: Erk Party… Is there such a party?

09.12.2013 09:49 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

The six assembly of the Erk party was scheduled in Tashkent for 3 Dec 2013. But it was not meant to happen: a local café, the venue point for participants, was suddenly closed on that day due to gas cutoff while many regional delegates were prevented from reaching Tashkent. Why are the authorities so afraid of the Erk Party, whose nominee, Muhammad Salih, ran for president in 1991? What kind of party is it anyway, and what issues was the assembly to discuss? Our observer in Tashkent sheds light on such matters in the article below.

Uzbekistan targets NGOs’ finances

Uzbekistan targets NGOs’ finances

06.12.2013 23:45 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Fergana learned that Uzbek authorities launched mass inspections of non-governmental non- profit organizations in Uzbekistan. The inspection teams include all the controlling bodies—the ministry of justices, tax agencies and other relevant government arms. One can only speculate as to the causes of this heightened interest the government is displaying in regards with NGOs: many say the reason is the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2014 and the presidential elections in 2015. Or, possibly, the inspections are unleashed in connection with the closure of the Fund Forum, which belonged to Gulnara Karimova; after all, many NGOs received financial assistance from it. Or, possibly, it is one of the last nails in the coffin, so to speak: the authorities are trying to intimated NGOs to step up its control and to force them into curbing contacts with foreign and international organizations. As a reminder, the Uzbek National TV and Radio Company employees are prohibited from traveling abroad since recently, even during vacation.

Uzbek Journalist Muhammad Bekjan Awarded Press Freedom International Award after 15 Years of Imprisonment…

Uzbek Journalist Muhammad Bekjan Awarded Press Freedom International Award after 15 Years of Imprisonment…

29.11.2013 09:14 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 27 Nov 2013, Muhammad Bekjan, an imprisoned Uzbek journalist, was awarded the annual award of the Freedom of Press instituted by the Reporters Without Borders (RWB). The award has been issued since 1992, and one journalist and one news media outlet can be awarded it, if judges find they made a significant contribution to the protection and development of freedom of the press. The awarding ceremony is traditionally held in Paris, where the RWB has its main office, but this year ceremony was held in Strasburg as part of events the RWB organized during the Global Forum of Democracy of the European Council. The head of the Association of Human Rights in Central Asia, Nadejda Atayeva, received the award in Mr. Bekjan’s stead. Mr. Bekjan has been imprisoned for 15 years in a prison in Zarafshan City in Navoi Region. He is serving time for crimes he did not commit and no attempts undertaken by international organizations to release him yielded results. On the contrary, Mr. Bekjan’s prison term was extended in 2011; apparently he and his family have lost any hope to see him free again.

Uzbekistan: Veteran US NGO Worker Paralyzed by Stroke Risks Ending Up on Streets of Tashkent

Uzbekistan: Veteran US NGO Worker Paralyzed by Stroke Risks Ending Up on Streets of Tashkent

25.11.2013 21:42 msk Business Politics Uzbekistan

Richard Glaub, a US citizen who worked as director of the National Democratic Institute in Uzbekistan for six years, now lives in Tashkent and is in a desperate, bedridden state. And there is a risk that by mid-December, he and his wife could end up on the street, without any money or medical assistance. “On November 12, 2012, Richard was brought down by a stroke, which left him paralyzed,” says his wife, Lidiya Glaub. “Ever since then, Richard has been trapped in bed and the burden of taking care of him has fallen upon me, even though [I have health problems too].” Lidiya Glaub says she and her husband lived a happy married life for 11 years. Now she is caring for her helpless 61-year spouse, living in a rented apartment, the lease of which ends on December 15.

Lack of voters secures Tajik president’s victory

Lack of voters secures Tajik president’s victory

11.11.2013 20:19 msk Politics Tajikistan

Over 80 percent of eligible voters participated in the latest presidential elections in Tajikistan on 6 November 2013. According to the central elections committee (CEE) of Tajikistan, 83.6 percent of those voters cast their votes in favor of the current president in office, Emomali Rakhmon. But there is a flaw in these figures, and it does not take long to figure it out.

Uzbekistan: Thinking out loud about Gulnara Karimova as her father’s “victim”

Uzbekistan: Thinking out loud about Gulnara Karimova as her father’s “victim”

04.11.2013 23:22 msk Analytics Politics Uzbekistan

The president of Uzbekistan has long been called, behind his back of course, “Father.” To be sure, not an “Uzbekbashi,” like the previous president of Turkmenistan was called “Turkmenbashi” (“The head of all Turkmen”) or “Yelbasy” (“The leader of nation”) like the Kazakhs call their president. Uzbek subjects seem to feel more intimate and almost family-type ties with their head of state. It, therefore, turns out that all citizens in the country are essentially Islam Karimov’s sons and daughters. Like any father, he feeds and brings them up, punishes and forgives, and there is no way the can do without he for well over 20 years now. It is high time they grew up and start their own lives, but they just cannot bring themselves to breaking that painful dependence on almost saint father. To be fair, the daddy is not burning with the desire to open his arms and release his children. For a long time, those very 20 years to be specific, Islam Karimov’s fatherly belt did not land on his biological children only. The two daughters of his were allowed to do whatever they wished, just like any capricious princesses.

International Campaign to Protect Those Disappeared In Turkmen Prisons

International Campaign to Protect Those Disappeared In Turkmen Prisons

30.10.2013 10:05 msk Human Rights Politics Turkmenistan

The Turkmenistan Civic Solidarity Group announces the beginning of our international campaign, “Prove They Are Alive!” The Goal of the Campaign is to uncover the truth about the fate of hundreds of people who have disappeared in Turkmen prisons as the result of massive repression that took place in the 2000s. Uncovering the truth about gross human rights violations by Turkmenistan’s authorities in the past and today will stop additional violations in the future. By raising the question of the fate of those people who have disappeared in Turkmenistan’s prisons on the international level, we begin to pave the way to addressing the systemic human rights violations committed by one of the most opaque and repressive regimes in the world.

Uzbekistan: The Birdamlik Movement will evolve into a political party

Uzbekistan: The Birdamlik Movement will evolve into a political party

14.10.2013 10:42 msk Politics Uzbekistan

According to the leader of the Birdamlik opposition movement, Bakhodir Choriyev, the movement will be reformed to establish the Birdamlik Liberal Economic Party of Uzbekistan (BLEPU). Mr. Choriyev writes about his plans for the movement in the Manual for Practicing Civil Activity, which he authored. Although called a “manual,” the document resembles a presentation of the movement. Bakhodir Choriyev urges citizens of Uzbekistan to join the ranks of his movement in order to organize large-scale peaceful rallies simultaneously throughout the country with the aim of toppling the Islam Karimov regime. The document is, therefore, a continuation of attempts to wage a “velvet revolution,” about which Mr. Choriyev, a former farmer and now US-based oppositionist, declared in the summer of 2013.

Breasts, fish, cotton - why did Uzbeks jail reporter Sergei Naumov?

Breasts, fish, cotton - why did Uzbeks jail reporter Sergei Naumov?

05.10.2013 00:10 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Twelve days in jail for allegedly harassing a foul-mouthed woman is what Sergei Naumov got for being the only reporter to cover, muck-rack and expose the otherwise untold horrors of living in western Uzbekistan. The arrest is part of a never-ending crackdown on dissidents, independent journalists and opposition figures who dare stand up to President Islam Karimov’s policies in Central Asia’s most populous nation.

Other news


Media headlines

N.Atayeva's blog Kyrgyzstan: an attack on a basis of ethnicity, 29.08.2014

Norwegian Helsinki Committee Security Services sue independent journalist, 25.08.2014

Long War Journal Quetta airbase attacks carried out by Pakistani Taliban, IMU, 18.08.2014

New York Times Youth in Iran: Inside and Out, 16.08.2014

Today's Zaman President Erdoğan and the new Turkey, 11.08.2014

The Guardian Uzbekistan's feuding first family and the mystery of the president's missing daughter, 18.07.2014

Hurriyet The making of Turkey’s Gezi protests, 10.07.2014

Al Jazeera Uzbek leader remains jailed in Kyrgyzstan, 09.07.2014

EurasiaNet Uzbekistan: Minorities Taking Advantage of New Russian Citizenship Rules, 09.07.2014

Asia Times Karimov and Nazarbaev: 25 years on top, 27.06.2014

HRW UN Human Rights Council: Rights Defenders Behind Bars in Uzbekistan, 24.06.2014

Pakistan Observer Operation Zarb-i-Azb, 23.06.2014

Al Jazeera Can a homegrown university in authoritarian Kazakhstan incubate reform?, 20.06.2014

Middle East Online Thousands protest in Vienna against Erdogan visit, 19.06.2014

The Economist Pensions in Central Asia: Old and cold, 19.06.2014

Long War Journal US drones strike in North Waziristan, kill 6 'militants', 19.06.2014

RFE/RL Whereabouts Of Man Detained By Tajik Authorities Remain Unknown, 17.06.2014

NEWEUROPE About some trans-border problems in Central Asia, 16.06.2014

New York Times Afghans, Looking Ahead to U.S. Withdrawal, Vote With Guarded Optimism, 15.06.2014

Mining Global Centerra Gold Receives Approval from Kyrgyzstan for 2014 Mine Plan, 13.06.2014

Eurasianet Tajikistan’s Cash Cow: Enough Milk to Go Around?, 13.06.2014

RFE/RL Google Services Inaccessible In Tajikistan, 13.06.2014

The Guardian Suspected US drone strike kills 10 militants in north-west Pakistan, 13.06.2014

Carnegie.Ru Uzbek Terrorism: Myth or Reality?, 12.06.2014

Express Tribune Uzbek al Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for Karachi airport siege, 11.06.2014

oDR Turkmenistan – where everything in the garden looks rosy, 06.06.2014

Global Post Russian company chief detained in Uzbekistan, 20.05.2014

HRW Exposing the Andijan MassacreMarch, 13.05.2014

Vice News Afghan Asylum Seekers in Turkey Are Sewing Their Lips Together in Protest, 10.05.2014

Eurasianet After Gazprom Takeover, Southern Kyrgyzstan Marks 24th Day Without Gas, 07.05.2014

TOL The Lost Sounds of Maqom, 07.05.2014

Forum 18 UZBEKISTAN: Another 5 year prison term for sermons in mobile, 04.05.2014

Eurasia Review UZBEKISTAN: IN CENTRAL ASIA, PATRIOTIC RUSSIAN SYMBOL CLAIMED BY UKRAINE SEPARATISTS IS REVIVED, 30.04.2014

Vice News The Toxic Uzbek Town and Its Museum of Banned Soviet Art, 26.04.2014

Diplomat How Chinese Think About Terrorism, 19.04.2014

Interfax Beijing: Islamists control regional drug trafficking routes, 17.04.2014

Carnegie.Ru Will the Crimean Tatars Become Russia’s Headache?, 07.04.2014

Eurasianet Kazakhstan: Ex-Premier Makes Comeback in Choreographed Reshuffle, 03.04.2014

Guardian Sardar Ahmad: a courageous journalist who delivered exceptional coverage, 22.03.2014

Terror revisits Afghanistan Frontier Post, 21.03.2014

Carnegie.Ru The Russian Intervention in Crimea: Erdogan’s Dilemma, 15.03.2014

CNN Canada pulls out of Kabul as NATO winds down Afghan operations, 14.03.2014

TOL A Lesson in Uzbek for Milos Zeman, 13.03.2014

Al Jazeera The Long Arm of the Dictator, 13.03.2014

IWPR In Central Asia, Caution and Concern on Ukraine, 13.03.2014

Central Asia Online IMU units hide out in Badakhshan Province, 12.03.2014

Al Jazeera Turkish teen injured in protest dies, 11.03.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan’s Dictator Micromanages Officials’ Travel, 11.03.2014

The News York Times Frustration With Afghanistan, 05.03.2014

Al Jazeera Afghanistan elections: The myth and reality about ethnic divides, 04.03.2014

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