24 march 2017

Central Asia news

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.

Human trafficking and IS followers in Central Asia

Human trafficking and IS followers in Central Asia

31.01.2017 09:21 msk Human Rights Politics Migration Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Russia Tajikistan Turkey, Republic of Uzbekistan

Neo-patrimonial regimes have been established in Central Asian countries following the implosion of the Soviet Union. The new elites divided entire economies and “sweet-spot” government positions between “bosses” and their “vassals.” Meanwhile, the rest of the society, who are excluded from such networks, has no chances to secure good jobs, to peacefully and beneficially conduct business and remains impoverished. Such systems of management create fertile grounds for booming human trafficking and joining the ranks of IS, Kazakh political scientist Talgat Mamyrayymov says in the article he authored below.

Tajik-Afghan borders in photos: What lies on the other side of Panj River?

Tajik-Afghan borders in photos: What lies on the other side of Panj River?

20.01.2017 15:09 msk Analytics Politics Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan

Politicians and experts have long been expressing concerns regarding the situation on the Afghan side of the border near Tajikistan. The length of the border the two countries share is 1,344km, of which 920km are the Gorno-Badakhshan section while the remaining over 424km are the Khatlon Region of Tajikistan. The latter section is the one that causes most concern in terms of attempts to violate the state border from the Afghan side to contraband illicit drugs. The situation in the southern ends of Gorno-Badakhsan Autonomous Region, known by is Russian abbreviation, GBAO, is relative stable. However, according to experts, there is a risk that the situation could deteriorate.

High and Dry: Central Asia’s Failure to Avert the Impending Water Crisis

High and Dry: Central Asia’s Failure to Avert the Impending Water Crisis

18.01.2017 10:09 msk Analytics Business Politics Cotton Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

The Harvard International Review's January 2017 edition includes an academic article on problems with water supply in Central Asia. The article author Alisher Ilkhamov is a Research Associate at the Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. According to Mr Ilkhamov, the worsening international relations in the region are the main source of water-related problems in post-Soviet Central Asia.

Radio Liberty: “We hope Tajik authorities understand their mistake and reinstate our journalists’ accreditation”

Radio Liberty: “We hope Tajik authorities understand their mistake and reinstate our journalists’ accreditation”

29.11.2016 09:36 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

Late last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan revoked the accreditations of six journalists of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) based in Dushanbe. The exterior ministry provided no comments on the decision. However, the journalists’ accreditation was revoked after RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reported on a new appointment for Rukshona Rakhmonova, President Emomali Rakhmon’s daughter. RFE/RL Director of Communications Joanna Levison commented on the situation, on why did disagreeable journalist were “punished” and how the Dushanbe bureau is planning to continue its work in an interview with Fergana.

NATO Liaison Office in Tashkent to close, but alliance to continue cooperation in region

NATO Liaison Office in Tashkent to close, but alliance to continue cooperation in region

17.11.2016 17:52 msk Analytics Politics Interview Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Fergana learnt from its own sources that the NATO liaison office to Central Asia will no longer be active starting next year. The liaison office is currently based in Tashkent, but coordinate the alliance’s activities and cooperation with all the countries in the region. What has caused the decision? We contacted Rosaria Puglisi, head of the liaison office, who has kindly agreed to respond to this and other questions.

Tajikistan’s imitation civil society

Tajikistan’s imitation civil society

10.10.2016 12:04 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan

Civic activism has been on the rise in Tajikistan in recent years. At first, groups of disgruntled women started breaking into opposition parties’ offices and western embassies, accusing the first of wanting to start a new war in the country, and the second of harbouring dissidents. Then the disgruntled women vanished, only to be replaced by student activists from pro-government youth organisations. At a time when any anti-government protest — not just a rally, a picket, demonstration or even some small gathering outside a government building — is broken up by the police in Tajikistan, members of these organisations are free to hold rallies and demos, block the streets and even cause mass unrest.

«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.

“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.

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.

Uzbek border guards kill Kazakh, wound Tajik nationals, fire at Kyrgyz colleagues

Uzbek border guards kill Kazakh, wound Tajik nationals, fire at Kyrgyz colleagues

01.07.2015 12:11 msk Human Rights Politics Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan

The history of border conflicts sheds light on many gruesome stories. Bilateral and multilateral “eternal friendship agreements” among the nations in Central Asia are shelved as soon as territorial claims surface or another interethnic conflict breaks out or disagreements on border zone residents’ interest erupt. Three incidents involving firearms have taken place in three different parts of the Uzbek borders with neighbours recently.

Murder in Istanbul: Political terror effective in CIS

Murder in Istanbul: Political terror effective in CIS

08.03.2015 11:28 msk Analytics Human Rights Politics Central Asia Russia Tajikistan Turkey, Republic of

The killing of Tajik oppositionist Umarali Kuvvatov in Istanbul, Turkey, appears to be an extreme end of political terror against the opponents of the ruling regime in Tajikistan. Obviously Dushanbe will scramble to steer clear of the murder, claiming the late Mr. Kuvvatov’s death does not benefit the authorities there because it would actually be to its detriment. They have an example in Moscow to follow in this regard—the Kremlin made a similar statement after the late Mr. Nemtsov’s assassination a week ago.

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