28 august 2015

Central Asia news

The Chorsu Bazaar: A taste of Uzbekistan (+ photos)

The Chorsu Bazaar: A taste of Uzbekistan (+ photos)

19.08.2015 12:18 msk Uzbekistan

Each Uzbek bazaar is somewhat reminiscent of all the other ones, and yet tourists see each and every one of them under a unique angle. As a rule, an abundance of exotics stirs excitement and delight in travellers: they incessantly click camera shutters in an attempt to comply with the brain’s desire to capture the marvelous reality unfolding before eyes. Indeed, it is difficult to resist the pyramids of juicy pears, weaved baskets laden with freshly baked flat breads, hills of grapes, spices and other wondrous stuff displayed right under the sky and sometimes on the ground. Sadly, that is the precise part of this scene that none, save a very few, pay attention to.

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.

Uzbek State Museum removes «Soviet Era» department

Uzbek State Museum removes «Soviet Era» department

07.07.2015 12:00 msk Politics Arts Uzbekistan

There is a building in central Tashkent is known to every local and guest as well as other historical buildings around it: Navoi Theatre, Tashkent Hotel, the former Palace of Pioneers, the puppet theatre and the Sharq publishing house. The delicate concrete cube-shaped building is built on a higher location than adjacent buildings and features wide stairs. The Soviet authorities used the building as the centre for forced pilgrimage of middle and high school children as well as foreign delegations because this is where the memory of the chief of the global proletariat was honoured in those days. The Lenin Museum—the building in question—was constructed in 1970 to commemorate the centennial of the communist chief and existed under this name for just over 20 years before it was handed over to the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan after independence in 1991.

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.

Former political prisoner delivers report on human rights in Uzbekistan before US Congress

Former political prisoner delivers report on human rights in Uzbekistan before US Congress

28.06.2015 13:23 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission under the US Congress held a session June 25 entitled “Civil and Political Rights in Uzbekistan and Central Asia: Implications for Post-2014 U.S. Foreign Policy.” Daniel Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, both of the Department of State, as well as Jeff Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst at the Open Society Foundations, and Ms. Allison Gill, an independent expert on Central Asia, spoke before the congressional commission. Among the speakers was Sanjar Umarov, who was once convicted in Uzbekistan for his political views.

Yelena Urlayeva: “I feel humiliated, but I will continue fighting this criminal regime until the end”

Yelena Urlayeva: “I feel humiliated, but I will continue fighting this criminal regime until the end”

04.06.2015 00:41 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Reports on humiliations detainees and arrestees are subjected to in Uzbekistan rarely leave the walls of police stations, pre-trial detention facilities or torture chambers. One would hear about the cases of only those who died in detention or those so desperate and hopeless that they no longer fear the regime’s wrath and revenge. Indeed, the regime can “break” anyone. However, there is one person who fears no reprisals, does not fear speaking out and does not care about allegations of mental instability—Yelena Urlayeva, head of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan (HRAU).

Steve Swerdlow (HRW) on Andijan Massacre

29.05.2015 11:34 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Ivar Dale: Denial’s bloody anniversary

Ivar Dale: Denial’s bloody anniversary

13.05.2015 23:03 msk Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Wednesday 13 May marks ten years since the massacre in Andizhan. Uzbek authorities claim that this is “a closed topic”. Totalitarian regimes decide a lot, but not this. The case is not closed until the victims’ families say so. Ten years have passed since an otherwise pleasant spring day in 2005. Those who have visited the Ferghana Valley around this time of year know exactly what sort of time it is – the thermometer has barely tipped 30, the markets are being filled up with fruits and vegs from the fields and even the smallest towns are abuzz with activity before sunrise. On such a day ten years ago, Uzbek police forces and military surrounded several thousand demonstrators in Andizhan, in the very east of the most populous country in Central Asia – and opened fire. Several hundred men, women and children died. Some say more than a thousand. Witness accounts from survivors who made it across the border to neighboring Kyrgyzstan had journalists and aid workers disturbed to the bone. Across the entire region, this 13 May remains a symbol of how badly things can go when one man gradually takes control of more than 30 million people and chooses to murder those who will not do or think as he pleases...

Ten Years after Uzbekistan’s Massacre, the Tragedy Continues to Unfold

Ten Years after Uzbekistan’s Massacre, the Tragedy Continues to Unfold

13.05.2015 20:50 msk Analytics Ferghana Valley Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

May 13 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the bloodiest events in the history of modern Uzbekistan. On that day in 2005, thousands of Uzbek citizens took to Babur Square in the city of Andijan in protest. The demonstration was a reaction to the three-month trial of 23 entrepreneurs from the Andijan suburb of Bogi-Shamol who practiced the moderate teaching of self-taught theologian Akram Yuldashev. As part of their religious practice, the businessmen donated to various nonreligious charitable projects—including nurseries, orphanages, and sports activities—that went against the system of corruption that reigned, and still reigns, in Uzbekistan. During the course of their trial, the community rallied respectfully in support of the entrepreneurs.

Luggage packed, planes boarded—to Riga! A brief story of small and medium business in Uzbekistan

Luggage packed, planes boarded—to Riga! A brief story of small and medium business in Uzbekistan

28.04.2015 20:45 msk Human Rights Business Uzbekistan

The reality in Uzbekistan is that even launching a business starts with nearly insurmountable roadblocks and significant difficulties. For instance, a future businessman needs at least a month between the start of the registration process and an actual launch of the planned business. According to Fergana’s own sources in Tashkent, a business registration must take about 14 business days. However, each future company must acquire three permits and certificates, which take another 15-17 business days. In case an entrepreneur wishes to get involved in an activity that requires licencing, standardisation and certification, then obtaining one single licence will add another 17 business days on average to the registration process, while acquiring a confirmation of meeting a standard will add 10 more days and a certificate will require another six business days.

The Uzbek Cotton: The Government’s Riches, the People’s Curse

The Uzbek Cotton: The Government’s Riches, the People’s Curse

15.04.2015 11:17 msk Human Rights Business Politics Cotton Uzbekistan

Children in Uzbekistan grow accustomed to thinking that cotton is the national treasure and the government needs help in harvesting this valuable commodity; otherwise there can be no salaries, pensions, and other social benefits. But the reality is completely different.

Uzbek rights advocate complains to OSCE over presidential election

Uzbek rights advocate complains to OSCE over presidential election

03.04.2015 09:44 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

Shukhrat Rustamov, a Tashkent-based human rights activist, administered a self-styled “monitoring” of voting during the recent presidential elections in Uzbekistan on March 29. He has personally counted the number of voters that came to Polling Station No. 492 in Tashkent throughout the entire elections day. Mr Rustamov believes it was necessary to complain about the documented violations and lodge them not only with government arms, but also with head of the OSCE mission in Uzbekistan.

Elections 2015: Fear and indifference in Tashkent

Elections 2015: Fear and indifference in Tashkent

31.03.2015 12:09 msk Human Rights Politics Uzbekistan

“Everyone is voting for Karimov, our entire family,” says a clean-cut and round-faced storeowner in Tashkent’s Labzak district. “Another person will be thinking about himself for the next 20 years. But he [Karimov] does not think about himself, thinks about his people only.” The storeowner rearranges things on the counter and hides his cell phone in the pocket – just in case. “In our neighbourhood, in each household there are two cars—there is no more room in backyards, so they leave their cars on the street. And nobody will hijack those cars. Because they are afraid.” A visit to polling stations in Tashkent instantly refutes stereotype about Uzbeks’s indifference to politics. Voters flock incessantly to polling stations despite a chilling wind and an unexpected snowfall in Tashkent.

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.

Other news

Media headlines

Atlantic Council Euromaidan’s Shockwaves: An Exile in Ukraine Recalls Fleeing his Native Kyrgyzstan, 10.08.2015

News.com.au Secretive Turkmenistan’s Silk Road heritage kept under wraps , 23.07.2015

Newsweek The new Eastern Bloc: China, Russia and India are joining forces, 10.07.2015

Hurriyet Daily News Turkey ready to take ‘all measures’ to secure its borders: PM, 29.06.2015

OpenDemocracy The irreplaceables in Central Asia, 24.04.2015

HRW Turkmenistan: War on Satellite Dishes, 24.04.2015

VOA Taliban Announce Spring Offensive, 22.04.2015

Long War Journal Taliban admit to beheading Afghan soliders ‘in revenge’, 22.04.2015

The Diplomat Tajikistan: No Hajj, No Hijab, and Shave Your Beard, 18.04.2015

Eurasia Review Afghanistan: Ghani wants Pakistan's help in talks with Taliban, 18.04.2015

Eurasianet Kazakhstan and Russia Trading Punches in Import-Export Row, 17.04.2015

Foreign Affairs Afghanistan's Female Sons, 17.04.2015

BBC Afghanistan kidnap video: Hostage beheaded 'by Uzbek gunmen', 07.04.2015

The Nation Kurds accuse Erdogan of ‘constitutional dictatorship’, 07.04.2015

Pakistan Today Taliban publish Mullah Omar’s biography, 06.04.2015

The Guardian Human rights activists’ dismay as Uzbekistan autocrat clings to power, 05.04.2015

World Politics Review Uzbek President’s Re-election Masks Internal Rifts, External Shifts, 04.04.2015

Foreign Policy Uzbekistan’s president has jailed, tortured, and murdered his opponents at home. Now, he’s hiring hit men to track down and kill dissidents abroad, 03.04.2015

The Economist Elections in Central Asia - No choice, 01.04.2015

U.S. Dept of State An Enduring Vision for Central Asia, 01.04.2015

New Eastern Europe Welcome to Karimovstan, 01.04.2015

HRW Kyrgyzstan: Rights Lawyers’ Office, Home Searched, 31.03.2015

Khaama Press Afghan journalist beaten by police in Zabul, 31.03.2015

RFE/RL Uzbek Group In Afghanistan Pledge Allegiance To Islamic State, 31.03.2015

New York Times Uzbeks Vote on Expected 4th Term for Authoritarian Leader, 30.03.2015

The Guardian Islam Karimov set to reprise presidential role as Uzbekistan heads to the polls, 28.03.2015

International Business Times Uzbekistan elections: Why Islam Karimov is the unbeatable candidate, 28.03.2015

Diplomat Tough Outlook for Central Asian Economies, 26.03.2015

The National The long read: why Russia will see off China in Central Asia’s new great game, 26.03.2015

BBC Why Islam Karimov will win Uzbekistan's elections, 24.03.2015

OCCRP The Prodigal Daughter, 23.03.2015

New York Times Afghan First Vice President, an Ex-Warlord, Fumes on the Sidelines, 21.03.2015

Khaama Dozens of Uzbek fighters living with families in Faryab, 10.03.2015

BBC Five ways to stay in power in Central Asia, 10.03.2015

NHC NHC condemns murder of Tajik opposition leader, 09.03.2015

Al Jazeera Journalists decry lack of press freedom in Turkey, 09.03.2015

Forbes Islamic Extremism In Central Asia: Witch Hunt Or Genuine Threat?, 28.02.2015

Carnegie.Ru Why Did Nazarbayev Suddenly Call for Early Elections?, 26.02.2015

OSCE OSCE convenes first workshop in Central Asia on countering phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, 26.02.2015

AP 3 nabbed in NY, Florida in plot to join Islamic State Group, 25.02.2015

openDemocracy Economic dystopia in Kyrgyzstan, 12.02.2015

Silk Road Reporters Tajikistan, frontline state against resurgent Taliban, 09.02.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan Bullish on Economy – But Do Numbers Add Up?, 03.02.2015

Long War Journal Pakistani Taliban emir for Bajaur joins Islamic State, 03.02.2015

WB Taking STEPs to Improve Employment Outcomes in Uzbekistan, 03.02.2015

Eurasianet Uzbekistan: With Gulnara on Sidelines, How Will Football Fare?, 29.01.2015

The Economist The Turkish prime minister rejects charges of being soft on the Islamic State and authoritarian at home, 24.01.2015

The Independent War on Isis: Flood of jihadi volunteers to Syria 'unstoppable', warns Turkish Prime Minister, 22.01.2015

The Guardian Russia’s rouble crisis poses threat to nine countries relying on remittances, 19.01.2015

The Diplomat ISIS Looks for Foothold in Central Asia, 19.01.2015