6 february 2016

Central Asia news

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.

“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?..

Who benefits from the armed mutiny in Tajikistan? Analyses, opinions, comments

Who benefits from the armed mutiny in Tajikistan? Analyses, opinions, comments

09.09.2015 12:15 msk Politics Religious life Tajikistan

Over the last few days, Tajikistan again found itself under the mass media limelight and in the centre of the international communication’s attention. The reason is yet another armed mutiny in the country and the ensuing operation by the power-wielding bodies to capture the suspected militants scattered in mountains. According to information the country’s interior ministry provided, two armed assaults occurred in the night of September 4—with one targeting the central administration of the country’s defence ministry in Dushanbe and the Vakhdat City internal affairs directorate 20km outside the capital. Several police officers were killed in the assaults and a large arsenal of weapons and ammunition.

Russian expert on Arab affairs: Authoritarian regimes are main recruiters for IS

Russian expert on Arab affairs: Authoritarian regimes are main recruiters for IS

30.08.2015 02:07 msk Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan China Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

The so-called Islamic State (IS) group is one of the major threats to peace and stability in the world today, having caused so much speculation around this abbreviation. We believe it is simply necessary to interview one of the leading Russian experts on the matters of the Arab world. Aleksandr Shumilin is director of the Middle East Conflicts Analysis Centre under the USA and Canada Institute. Mr Shumilin has spent many years in the Middle East. The Fergana news agency invited him to the Central Asia Television to ask several questions on the conception of IS, and this terrorist organisation’s founders, sources of financing and what the world can offer to resist and combat it.

USA: Federal Jury Convicts Kurbanov on Terrorism Charges

USA: Federal Jury Convicts Kurbanov on Terrorism Charges

13.08.2015 12:56 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

A federal jury in the District of Idaho (USA) returned guilty verdicts against former Uzbekistan citizen Fazliddin Kurbanov, 33, on charges that he conspired and attempted to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessed an unregistered destructive device. The jury found the defendant not guilty on two other charges.

Uzbek officials: “Our prisons are most progressive, mass media are most democratic; no torture, because it is prohibited!”

Uzbek officials: “Our prisons are most progressive, mass media are most democratic; no torture, because it is prohibited!”

20.07.2015 10:40 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Migration Internet Uzbekistan

Every five years starting in 1996, Uzbekistan delivers a report before UN Committee for Human Rights on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There are very few people aware of this document in Uzbekistan, save the officials and a handful of pro-government NGOs like the Committee of Women of Uzbekistan or the Ijtimoiy Fikr Sociology Centre, which characterise themselves as independent for some reason. Public hearings of another report took place at the Wilson Pallaise in Geneva, Switzerland on July 8-9, where an delegation from Uzbekistan responded to questions 18 members of the committee had to ask them.

Muhiddin Kabiri: Closing IRPT will not bring about better life in Tajikistan

Muhiddin Kabiri: Closing IRPT will not bring about better life in Tajikistan

06.07.2015 00:37 msk Human Rights Politics Religious life Russia Tajikistan

Muhiddin Kabiri, the leader of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), has inadvertently become the main newsmaker for Tajik and foreign mass media outlets. Mr Kabiri broke silence he kept for the last three weeks and made himself available for journalists. Muhiddin Kabiri agreed to speak with Fergana in an exclusive interview to discuss the criminal investigation launched against him, those in the Tajik government interested in having the IRPT closed, the reasons behind people continuing to join the party despite resistance and pressures, and many other aspects of life in Tajikistan.

“Revolution foreboding” and mass detention of foreigners in Kyrgyz south

“Revolution foreboding” and mass detention of foreigners in Kyrgyz south

18.05.2015 09:40 msk Ferghana Valley Human Rights Religious life Kyrgyzstan

Over the last two weeks, the city of Osh in the south of Kyrgyzstan has been plagued by rumours about an imminent “revolution” or an “interethnic conflict.” Nobody knows who is disseminating them and what goals the initiators of this fear campaign are pursuing.

Pulat Ahunov: Headsprings of Uzbek autocracy

Pulat Ahunov: Headsprings of Uzbek autocracy

28.03.2015 22:09 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Religious life Russia Uzbekistan

Pulat Ahunov is an oppositionist from Uzbekistan, who is chairman of the Sweden-based Association Central Asia and the founder of the Foundation for Combatting Corruption in Uzbekistan. Mr. Ahunov shares his memories of meetings with Islam Karimov in late 1980s to mid-1990s.

Rashod Kamalov: A respected imam or “chief Islamist” in Kyrgyzstan?

Rashod Kamalov: A respected imam or “chief Islamist” in Kyrgyzstan?

13.02.2015 14:31 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Religious life Central Asia Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Rashod Kamolov, a relatively young but very popular and respected imam, was arrested in Southern Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Kamolov is the son of a local influential theologian, who was assassinated by secret services during former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s term in office eight years ago. The current Kyrgyz authorities claim that they collected solid evidences that Mr. Rashod Kamalov recruited and sent people to participate in the civil war in Syria, by making such propaganda that allegedly made his parish think like “zombies.” Meanwhile, Mr. Kamalov’s lawyers maintain their client’s innocence and police actions’ illegality. It is difficult to make sense in this story, but one thing is certain: Law-enforcement and judicial bodies continue completely forgetting about human rights and respect for appropriate procedures in their chase for success in “combating extremism.”

The West and the modern “Islamisms”: Who is behind the conflict designing?

The West and the modern “Islamisms”: Who is behind the conflict designing?

04.02.2015 01:00 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Central Asia

We are continuing to discuss the question of Islam and Islamophobia—a discussion which began quite a long time ago, but which became louder following the cruel terrorist attack which took place in the centre of Paris. In an article written specially for Ferghana and which we are offering our readers here, the orientalist Bahodir Sidikov argues that Islamophobia is artificially encouraged by and in the West and that it is instrumentalized as a ‘bogey for domestic purposes’, as a stabilizer and catalyser of national development.

US military vehicles: Expensive gift for Uzbek President or non-disposable “garbage”?

US military vehicles: Expensive gift for Uzbek President or non-disposable “garbage”?

29.01.2015 17:51 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Interview Central Asia Afghanistan Uzbekistan

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia Daniel Rosenblum told the Voice of America that over 300 modern military machines would be granted to Uzbekistan in the next few months. According to the representative of the Department of State, Washington is certain that Uzbekistan is in need of these defensive armoured vehicles to combat terrorism and drug trafficking. “They are intended to protect personnel, crews and passengers in areas that there might be explosive devices, mines, so on,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Rosenblum says. He further clarifies that these particular vehicles “are not coming from Afghanistan” as was previously expected, but “are coming from other places.” Obviously the fact in question raises at least two questions: 1) How would these vehicles benefit (or harm) Uzbekistan and the region? 2) Does this fact mean that Washington is thus expressing its unequivocal support of Islam Karimov ahead of the presidential elections in March?

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.

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