19 december 2018

Central Asia news

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. Central Asia’s Self-Defeating Anti-Terrorism Efforts

31.01.2018 17:59 msk Analytics Business Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

While strengthening border security can help prevent the Afghan conflict from spilling over into Central Asia, sustainable solutions to the out-of-control domestic radicalization processes in the region are much harder to find. And it is precisely here that Central Asia’s anti-terrorist measures are often counterproductive. In fact, the region’s political and economic makeup is further conducive to the rise of domestic extremism.

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics

THE BIG PICTURE COLUMN by Toni Michel. The Myth of Clans in Central Asian Politics

19.01.2018 15:38 msk Analytics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Political Science is usually quite good at figuring out the main power players and relevant structures in the political systems of most countries. Those of us who are interested in Central Asia, however, will encounter an utterly incredible mess in the analysis of the political processes in the region. Mostly, the confusion centers around the term “clan” – a term that is so overused that it has been deprived of any clear meaning. This has led to a certain mystification of Central Asian politics around such poorly defined structures with little regard for the differences between clans, tribes and regional elites. So, this week, let us look at what clans really are, what their role is and if they are so special after all.

«I would not dispute», the former defender of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev said in his interview to Fergana News

«I would not dispute», the former defender of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev said in his interview to Fergana News

28.12.2017 17:20 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

On 26 December, Tashkent journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev accused of an infringement on the constitutional order in Uzbekistan has suddenly rejected the assistance of lawyer Sergei Mayorov. He is the only defender who has managed to meet with the detained journalist two times, and who at least somehow has tried to influence the outcome of this case. However, he has not had much success: the investigators ignored all the lawyer's demands and refused to give him an opportunity to acquaint him not only with the course of the investigation but also with charges his client faces.

'Go wherever you want.' Tashkent City project evicts people

'Go wherever you want.' Tashkent City project evicts people

18.12.2017 11:08 msk Human Rights Business Uzbekistan

On 11 December, the man, who introduced himself as the hokim (head of the administration) of the Shaykhantohur district, met with the tenants of three houses on Tashkent street on the site where the authorities plan to construct the pompous "Tashkent City" business complex. The official, in the company of other municipal staff, has announced that the residents are categorically obliged to vacate the housing in a ten-day period since the buildings around are already being demolished. On the questions of people, what should they do now and where to go, the answer, in its essence was: "We are not interested, go wherever you want." These words sounded if the tenants do not leave within ten days, they would be forcibly evicted by a court decision involving law enforcement. Given the sad experience of past years, there is no doubt about this perspective.

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

20 dollars caliphate. How militants recruit children and youth in northern Afghanistan

13.12.2017 09:44 msk Analytics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

There are numerous reports from the northern provinces of Afghanistan about the arrival of well-equipped militants, who do not hide their belonging to the IS terrorist group (the banned terrorist organisation "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", ISIL, ISIS or IS Eng., "Daesh" Arab.) The Fergana News correspondent talked with residents, authorities, and learned the details of what is happening in the provinces of Balkh, Jowzjan and Faryab.

Uzbek actress Nargis Abdullaeva recalls her journey to Moscow

Uzbek actress Nargis Abdullaeva recalls her journey to Moscow

16.11.2017 00:24 msk Interview Central Asia Russia Uzbekistan

It is difficult to catch up with Nargis Abdullaeva—she has a lot of work and trips to make around the country. Abdullaeva is a theatre and film actress, an acting teacher and director living in Russia. A few years ago she was the leading actress at the famous Tashkent theatre “Ilkhom.” As a girl, Abdullaeva was forced to radically change her life and come to Moscow, where she faced all sorts of problems faced by migrants, but she achieved her goal and returned to the acting profession. How did all of this happen to her? Read the next report published under a joint project of Fergana News and Deutsche Welle entitled, "Migrant in Russia. Habitat.” The report is dedicated to immigrants from Central Asia, who live and work in Russia.

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

Who is helping IS strengthen its position in northern Afghanistan?

14.11.2017 23:49 msk Politics Religious life Central Asia Afghanistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

In the northern provinces of Afghanistan—Sar-e Pul and Balkh—the positions of the militants of the so-called "Islamic State" are visibly strengthened. Muhammad Zahir Wahdat, the governor of the Sar-e Pul province, told a Fergana News correspondent that Daesh is trying to expand its presence in all districts of the province. The governor also asserted that there are districts in which the administration is the official power during the daytime, but nightfall brings the authority of Daesh. According to the official, local ethnic Turkmen and Uzbeks are now actively replenishing the ranks of the group. Active recruitment is being carried out, mainly in the districts of Kush Tapa and Sayad. According to the governor, the province administration has repeatedly informed NATO in northern Afghanistan and the central government of the country, but the centre does not provide sufficient assistance.

NYC Halloween terror attack suspect’s relatives express shock, disbelief

NYC Halloween terror attack suspect’s relatives express shock, disbelief

07.11.2017 18:38 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Uzbekistan

"We are shocked. It’s a real nightmare. We cannot understand why he did it."
Ferghana News journalists and their Moscow colleagues visited the area near the Tashkent house of the parents of Sayfullo Saipov, the terror suspect in the Halloween attack in the United States. Saipov’s school headmaster, market sellers, director, and a policeman were all unwilling to talk about their former neighbour, and to discuss his terrible act. "A good boy, polite, brought my children to a music school. No beard, no religious conversations." "His leg was pulled in America, such people do not hurt other people, they do not kill people. Very sorry for him," they said.

Well-known blogger, teacher, economist, and activist arrested in Tashkent

Well-known blogger, teacher, economist, and activist arrested in Tashkent

07.11.2017 11:48 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Well-known blogger, journalist, public activist, and Economics teacher Hayotkhon Nasreddinov has been in custody for more than two weeks in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The arrest of Nasreddinov took place around 20 October, a little less than a month after the arrest of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev. What is this: a new ‘witch hunt’?

What do we know about alleged NYC Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov

What do we know about alleged NYC Halloween terrorist Sayfullo Saipov

02.11.2017 21:27 msk Analytics Politics Religious life Migration Uzbekistan

On 31 October, a terrorist attack ruined Halloween in New York. A 29-year-old man at the wheel of a rented truck drove at high speed onto a bike path running along the Hudson River, driving several blocks while crushing random passers-by and bicyclists. Then the pickup truck crashed into a school bus transporting children with disabilities, injuring several bus passengers. The culprit, with cries of "Allahu Akbar!", jumped from the truck, holding a paintball gun and a pellet gun in his hands. Arriving at the scene, police opened fire on him, wounding him in the abdomen. The suspect was hospitalised, underwent an operation, and afterwards interrogated. In all, eight were killed and 15 injured as a result of the terrorist attack.

Flamenco in Central Asia!

Flamenco in Central Asia!

29.10.2017 22:50 msk Analytics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Emotions, tirades, passion, sharp gestures, stomping, hot fever! I would add “flamenco”, but it is not Catalonia striving for independence from Madrid. Another week rich with symbolic events in Central Asia is over, yet the picture remains obscure. The leadership of this region is reluctant to express its real emotions and feelings, but decisions show who they truly are, paraphrasing a popular fiction writer.

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

25.10.2017 23:02 msk Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

A museum dedicated to life and murder of a young and prominent journalist Alisher Saipov opens its doors in the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, Osh city, where ten years ago, on 24 October, two bullets, the assassin shot at the journalist, stopped his independent voice. It is a separate room in the house where the family of Alisher collected his personal belongings. On the hanger hangs a suit in which the journalist was on the day of the murder. Here you can see the books that Alisher liked to read, his photographic equipment, university degrees, certificates, copies of the newspaper he published...

Half of Everything or Facta, Non Verba

Half of Everything or Facta, Non Verba

23.10.2017 09:26 msk Editorial Business Politics Central Asia Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Central Asia is surely East - culturally or geographically. But, how much politically? Legally speaking countries of the regions are not khanates or empires, but republics established by the Soviets. And, yes, being a part of communist Russia they used to be "East Europe". Newly sovereign leaders declared their adherence to international obligations, while despotism is still a dominating option of state ruling in the region. Probably, it is their totalitarian communist heritage that resists learning new tricks.

Uzbekistan: New conference with old zindan at background

Uzbekistan: New conference with old zindan at background

19.10.2017 04:07 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

"Open Journalism in Central Asia" Media Conference organised by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) starts today in Tashkent, which will discuss issues of freedom of the media. This event, expected for fifteen years, can rightly be considered a breakthrough in relations between Uzbekistan and the international journalistic community. However, a recent arrest of our Tashkent colleague Bobomurod Abdullayev overshadows the "press freedom festival," so rare for the whole region.

Another political prisoner in Uzbekistan released

Another political prisoner in Uzbekistan released

05.10.2017 22:41 msk Opposition Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Sometimes, good news keeps on coming from Uzbekistan: journalist and human rights activist Solizhon Abdurakhmanov freed on 4 October, who spent more than nine years in prison on a fabricated charge. Abdurakhman Tashanov, representative of the human rights society "Ezgulik" informed Fergana about it.

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