27 june 2017

Central Asia news

‘Our authorities never mistake?’ Practice of protection of persons accused of extremism

‘Our authorities never mistake?’ Practice of protection of persons accused of extremism

01.06.2017 12:31 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Religious life Kyrgyzstan

For the past seven years, the number of convicts for extremism and terrorism in Kyrgyzstan has tripled. In 2009, according to the State Penitentiary Service (SSC), 51 people were convicted for such crimes, whereas today 185 people including 7 women are serving their sentences. Among this category of prisoners 22 people are accused of fighting in Syria, 97 - membership in Hizb-ut-Tahrir, 84 - committed their crimes for the first time. 38 people are kept in high security prisons. Who are these persons? How did they end up in the dock?

Russia, Central Asia, migrants. Where and how extremism threatens?

Russia, Central Asia, migrants. Where and how extremism threatens?

25.05.2017 12:54 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Migration Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

The recent terror act in the St. Petersburg metro on 3 April, in the organisation of which Russian special services suspect people from Central Asia, exacerbated issues related to migration processes from the countries of this region to Russia. Last week in Moscow, the Sakharov Center jointly with the Yegor Gaidar Foundation organised a discussion during which experts discussed whether there is any ground to say that it is among the migrants that recruitment of terrorists takes place, and if so, what causes migrants to join the ranks of radical Islamists, what role is played by large-scale corruption, typical of most Central Asian countries, and whether it is possible to oppose it.

Uzbekistan: Activists pay tribute to Andijan massacre victims in Tashkent

Uzbekistan: Activists pay tribute to Andijan massacre victims in Tashkent

15.05.2017 16:58 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

Activists of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (PAU) held a traditional action in the centre of Tashkent at the foot of the ‘Courage’ monument on 13 May to commemorate the hundreds of peaceful Andijan residents, who died during the shooting of the rally 12 years ago. To the surprise of the participants, this time the event passed without any interference by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Security Service (SNB).

Deteriorating situation in northern Afghanistan: told by local and commented by expert

Deteriorating situation in northern Afghanistan: told by local and commented by expert

10.05.2017 21:23 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Russia Tajikistan

The anti-government forces took control of the Qalay-I-Zal district of the Afghan province of Kunduz, located on the border with Tajikistan, world media reported on 7 May. Heavy battles that began shortly after the Taliban had announced the ‘spring offensive’ are going on in the Zebak district, as well as in the vicinity of the city of Kunduz, which may soon again be in the hands of the armed opposition. As we have already reported, a state of emergency had been declared in the Ishkashim district of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast of the Republic of Tajikistan bordering with fighting scenes across the Panj River. Local residents are alarmed and frightened by the fact that Afghan militants have come close to the Tajik border. Moreover, it is not entirely clear who they are and what their goals are. According to the ‘Fergana’ source in one of the international organisations, among the militants fighting ‘beyond the river’ are also refugees from Tajikistan, who moved there because of persecution by the authorities. A number is known too: they can make from 200 up to 250 people.

Human Rights in Uzbekistan: Commissioner, remember 2005 Andijan Massacre!

Human Rights in Uzbekistan: Commissioner, remember 2005 Andijan Massacre!

09.05.2017 23:01 msk Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

On 10 May 2017, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein arrives in Uzbekistan with a two-day visit after a long break. We offered several well-known human rights defenders and experts on the region to comment on this important event and suggest concerns that a high UN official should raise in conversation with the leaders of the Central Asian country. In their common opinion, the main thing is that the visit would not have appeared formal, but initiates the process of actual promotion of human rights in Uzbekistan.

Suspected in terrorism – emerging portraits from Central Asia

Suspected in terrorism – emerging portraits from Central Asia

28.04.2017 15:58 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Religious life Migration Kyrgyzstan Russia Uzbekistan

Brothers and neighbours speak about Rakhmat Akilov in Uzbekistan and Abror and Akram Azimov brothers in Kyrgyzstan. A good childhood and obedience, law-abiding behaviour, positive reputation in the neighbourhood, diligence – such testimonials would make a decent citizen, but not terrorist.

Muhiddin Kabiri on Interpol, IRPT ban, General Nazarzoda and exiled opposition’s future

Muhiddin Kabiri on Interpol, IRPT ban, General Nazarzoda and exiled opposition’s future

17.04.2017 22:33 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Interview Tajikistan

Fergana Editor-in-Chief Daniil Kislov interviewed the IRPT leader over the Internet. Mr. Kabiri spoke about his current status, and how the IRPT was a legal organisation and became “terrorist” overnight and why many of his supporters have not left Tajikistan even though they were aware of impending arrests. The interlocutor also spoke of the exiled Tajik opposition’s plans.

Uzbekistan: Neighbours of «terrorist of Stockholm» say suspect far from extremism

Uzbekistan: Neighbours of «terrorist of Stockholm» say suspect far from extremism

15.04.2017 10:03 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Migration Uzbekistan

A reporter of Fergana was able to visit a mahalla (neighbourhood) in Samarkand where the relatives of Rakhmat Akilov live. Swedish police arrested Mr Akilov as the main suspect of a terrorist act in Stockholm early April. Residents of Mr Akilov’s neighbourhood in Samarkand maintain that he was “distanced from politics and ideas of religious extremism.” No one saw him observing religious rites. Like the rest of the majority of Muslims in Uzbekistan, he would maintain only the so-called “household Islam,” and behaved like any other law-abiding person.

Between a rock and a hard place in Tajikistan: husbands demand wives wear head covers, gov’t demands removing

Between a rock and a hard place in Tajikistan: husbands demand wives wear head covers, gov’t demands removing

02.03.2017 19:26 msk Human Rights Religious life Tajikistan

The situation around satr, a locally used term for hijab, or headscarf, is becoming ever more controversial in Tajikistan. Only a few years the Tajik society was rather tolerant toward satr with the male part of it encouraging women to wear Islamic attire. But lately, mostly thanks to the Tajik authorities’ efforts, the society has gradually started espousing suspicious attitudes toward this Islamic piece of clothing. In the imagination of Tajik authorities, men sporting beards or women wearing headscarves are initial steps toward radicalisation and extremism. Even though Article 26 of the country’s constitution reads that “each person has the right to independently determine her/his religious preference, to practice any religion alone or in association with others or to practice no religion, and to participate in the performance of religious cults, rituals and ceremonies”, wearing satr is not openly welcomed by the authorities; doing so triggers persecutions in certain cases. That said, even those human rights advocates who used to make bold statements about human rights violations are remaining silent.

Turkmenistan: Repressing Gulen supporters to cajole Erdogan?

Turkmenistan: Repressing Gulen supporters to cajole Erdogan?

20.12.2016 11:15 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Turkmenistan Turkey, Republic of

Repressions are underway in Turkmenistan against former teachers and graduates of Turkish education institutions. They are accused of having communications with bodies and structures of an organisation allegedly under the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen’s influence. According to sources of Fergana, up to 90 per cent of former teachers at Turkish-Turkmen lyceums were questioned throughout the country. According to officers of state security agencies, who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity, sophisticated tortures are applied to the detainees with no warrants or reasons to do so; certain detentions and tortures resulted in the death of inmates.

Andrew Finkel, The Guardian: Turkey was already undergoing a slow-motion coup – by Erdoğan, not the army

Andrew Finkel, The Guardian: Turkey was already undergoing a slow-motion coup – by Erdoğan, not the army

17.07.2016 09:56 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Turkey, Republic of

What happens in Turkey matters. It is a G20 economy in a sensitive part of the world, sharing borders with Iraq, Iran and Syria. Turkey is an asset to its Nato partners when it is able to exercise a leadership role. It can be a liability when its own problems – like the tension with its Kurdish population – spill over those frontiers. And it can be a millstone around the world’s neck when it decides, as it did on Friday, to self-harm...

«Hizb ut-Tahrir» and Donald Trump: mutual contempt

«Hizb ut-Tahrir» and Donald Trump: mutual contempt

15.06.2016 15:31 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Central Asia Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan

Donald Trump’s Islamophobic speeches during campaign meetings seriously shook the US’s credibility in the eyes of ordinary Muslims. Well-known Islamic theologians say that if Trump wins the elections, Muslim part of the world will lose its faith. The faith in the American dream and the success of the democratic path. The Muslim world has been forced to pay attention to Donald Trump’s anti-Islamic rhetoric, not only due to the fact that he is a contender for the presidency, but also because he questioned the basic human values – human rights and freedom of religion.

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.

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.

Kyrgyz court hands five-year sentence to imam prominent in south

Kyrgyz court hands five-year sentence to imam prominent in south

12.10.2015 10:47 msk Human Rights Religious life Kyrgyzstan

The Kara-Suu District Court in Osh Region completed a trial of the case of Rashod Kamalov, a popular imam at the As-Sarakhsi mosque, on October 7. Mr Kamalov is charged with three crimes, each of which fell under two articles in the Kyrgyz crime code: inciting religious animosity, abuse of power, and distributing extremist materials during mass events. “The judge found Rashod Kamalov guilty in accordance with two articles of the country’s crime code: Article 299 and Part 1 of Article 299, and sentenced him to five years of imprisonment in a penal colony,” Valeryan Vakhitov, Mr Kamalov’s lawyer, has told Fergana.

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