• KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01142 -0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00218 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09344 0.86%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 23

Women in Central Asia in Need of Protection from Violence

 Central Asian Countries are seeing a new wave of violence against women and girls, and the fight against their long-standing powerlessness is just beginning. In 2023, the Women, Peace and Security Index (WPS Index), published by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security, found Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan the most dangerous countries in Central Asia for women. Things were deemed slightly better in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The challenges faced by women in the region result from a combination of factors: the low number of women in government and law enforcement, women’s lack of financial independence, especially in rural areas, a distorted understanding of traditions across populations, and a mentality in society that often denies or covers up flagrant cases of injustice.   The law is written in blood: the case of Kazakhstan According to WPS experts, Kazakhstan has progressed further than its neighbors toward equality. Still, according to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, 69 women and seven children died in 2023 in domestic conflicts alone. It is believed that, on average, at least 80 women die every year at the hands of those they live with; every day, the police receive hundreds of calls, while thousands of women need the help of specialized protection and support centers. According to the Prosecutor General, last year 150 women sustained severe injuries and 200 moderate injuries in marital conflicts, with another 4,000 suffering minor bruises. This year, however, marked a turning point for Kazakhstani society – more and more women are recording videos with marks from beatings, posting the videos on social media, and calling on the police to punish their abusers. Even high-profile domestic abusers can now be exposed. The trigger for these changes was the trial of former Nazarbayev-era Minister of the National Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, who beat his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, to death last November. Following a live-streamed trial, this May, Bishimbayev was sentenced to 24 years in prison for her murder. Even during the Bishimbayev trial, Karina Mamash, the wife of a Kazakh diplomat in the UAE, went public with allegations about systematic abuse, calling on the state to help. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urgently recalled her husband, Embassy Counselor Saken Mamash, who may be fired. Karina is now at home with her children while a criminal case has been opened against her husband. She has since reported threats from her husband's relatives. Also in May, Akmaral Umbetkalieva, a resident of Atyrau, alleged that her ex-husband, Rinat Ibragimov – the akim (mayor) of Makat District in Atyrau Region – had beaten her for eleven years and taken away their children. Ibragimov called the allegations slander. The month before, former Taldykorgan police chief, Marat Kushtybaev was sentenced to eleven years for raping a girl in his office in November 2023. Another headline from April was that a security guard at an Almaty bar who had been convicted of raping a girl at knifepoint would serve eight years in prison. The...

Uzbekistan Park Managers Arrested for Mass Distribution of Toys

The director, deputy, and head of marketing of the Ashgabat Park in Tashkent have been arrested and detained for 15 days for violating the rules of mass events.  According to Gazeta.uz reports, the arrests were made after some  40,000 people had gathered in the park in the hope of receiving free toys. The throng had responded to an advertisement circulated on social media announcing the free distribution of 20,000 soft toys and ice cream at noon on 1 June. However, according to the Department of Internal Affairs, the park's management had been pre- warned and then instructed to cancel the event because of the risks posed by a mass gathering within the park's territory and the event's  non-compliance with traffic and citizen safety guidelines. By failing to comply, the park's administration created a danger to citizens and traffic jams at the park's entrance and exit, on some internal routes, and  roads leading to the park. The Yashnabad District Department of Internal Affairs drew up an administrative protocol against the park director, deputy director, and head of the advertising department, followed by a sentence of 15 days of administrative arrest imposed by  the District Court.  The Department of Internal Affairs  also published a reminder that according to the requirements of the Cabinet of Ministers resolution of July 29, 2014 (#205),  permission to hold mass events  must be submitted one month in advance.

Another Uzbek Citizen Convicted of Insulting Mirziyoyev

A court in Uzbekistan has sentenced a 28-year-old Almalyk resident to correctional labor for insulting the country's president Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The man said he wrote insulting comments on the internet during a fit of anger because he had received several fines from the tax office. According to the case, the married father of two, an owner of a pharmacy, left insulting comments under four videos and photographs of Mirziyoyev between May 2 and August 31 last year, The defendant pleaded guilty and expressed regret for his actions. He said that while running his pharmacy, in the Tashkent region, tax inspection officers had fined him several times, and when he saw the photos and videos on Instagram he left derogatory comments in a fit of anger. Local media has reported that "The court took into account the man's admission of guilt and sentenced him to correctional work for two years and six months with the recovery of 20% of his salary to be given to the state. Also, the court imposed on the Ministry of Digital Technologies to restrict access to the account of the man on Instagram, and also decided to recover the phone Samsung Galaxy A53 in favor of the state". In March 2021 an article was added to Uzbekistan's Criminal Code establishing liability for public insult or slander against Mirziyoyev using telecommunications networks or the internet. This crime is punishable by corrective labor of up to three years, restriction of freedom from two to five years, or imprisonment of up to five years. In October 2023 a court sentenced a 19-year-old resident of Kattakurgan district (Samarkand region) to two years and six months in prison for insulting comments about Mirziyoyev on Instagram. In March this year a court sentenced a 27-year-old resident of Namangan, who had recently returned from Iran, to five years in prison for insulting and defamatory comments about Mirziyoyev on Facebook.

Reporters Without Borders Downgrades State Of Press Freedom in Uzbekistan To “Very Serious”

The international agency Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its annual Press Freedom Index on May 3, World Press Freedom Day. The report draws attention to the dire state that reporting in Uzbekistan is in. Uzbekistan fell by 11 places in the global ranking, relegated to 148th out of 180 countries. RSF staff downgraded their rating of the state of freedom of speech in Uzbekistan from "severe" to "very serious”. “Following the 2016 death of President Islam Karimov, circumstances have only barely improved for the media, and criticizing those in power remains very complicated,” reads RSF's introduction to the Uzbekistan section of the report. To compile the index, RSF graded the state of media freedom in 180 countries around the world using five different indicators: political, legal, economic, social and security. Uzbekistan ranked 157th on the political indicator, which is 20 places lower than last year. For the legal indicator the result is similarly disappointing, a fall of 17 places. The country ranked 143rd in the economic indicator, which is 9 places lower than last year. The security indicator also worsened by 9 places. Only in the social indicator did Uzbekistan's position rise, by two places to a still-lowly 145th. RSF describes the political context in Uzbekistan as one where the authorities wield a great deal of control over the media -- and also over a large group of bloggers with close ties to the government. RSF also mentions in the report that officials don’t hesitate to exert economic pressure or attempt to corrupt or influence journalists. “The growth of independent media is also largely hampered by laws and regulations that restrict their funding, especially by foreign-based organizations that support a free press,” reads an assessment from the economic section. In its socio-cultural section, RSF notes that topics that aren't covered in official mass media are highlighted on social media, including on platforms like Russia’s Odnoklassniki, Facebook and Telegram. Some groups are said to share information about government corruption on these platforms. The report also points out that the last of the journalists who have been imprisoned, some for as long as 20 years, have now been released, but they have not been cleared of wrongdoing. Bloggers are still being threatened or arrested -- as was the case with Otabek Sattoryi, the founder of the YouTube channel “Xalq Fikri” (People’s Opinion). He was sentenced to six and a half years in prison in May 2021 on false charges of defamation and extortion. Journalists who tried to cover his trial were physically assaulted or unjustly persecuted. The crackdown on reporters covering demonstrations to support the republic of Karakalpakstan remaining autonomous shows the government's determination to silence all dissent. A report by Amnesty International published in April stated that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Otabek Sattoryi’s detention was unjustified, and called for his release. Of Uzbekistan's fall in the Press Freedom Index, a journalist from the BBC Uzbek Service, Ibrat Safo, wrote on his Facebook page: "[A] sharp drop... I’m...

Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court Vacates Convictions of 198 Victims of Stalinist Repressions

On May 6, the criminal trial panel of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan considered 11 criminal cases involving 198 people who were unjustly punished by court verdicts over the period of 1930–1938, according to the press services of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Among those acquitted are high-ranking officials who held positions in the judicial system. Most of them were sentenced to death or long-term imprisonment with confiscation of property according to verdicts handed down by the Criminal Trial Committee of the Supreme Court of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on June 21, 1930. The vacating of those convictions was carried out according to a decree issued by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev dated October 8, 2020, titled “On further study of the legacy of repression victims and additional measures to perpetuate their memory." In order to ensure the implementation of the decree, a working group at the republican level was established to further study the legacy of repression victims, as well as organizing and coordinating the work of perpetuating their memory. After the approval of that “road map” for clearing the names of the victims of repression and perpetuating their memory, the scope of research on identifying victims was expanded, and officials were given the opportunity to use the departmental archives of ministries and agencies. Over the course of its efforts, the working group identified 1,031 people who were repressed during the Soviet-era, who subsequently had their convictions vacated.

Central Asia and Turkey Serving as Way-Points for Russia’s Explosives Imports

Citing an analysis of trade data, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported that Russia has boosted its imports of an explosive compound critical to the production of artillery ammunition - including from companies based in the U.S. and other Western countries and allies - despite international sanctions meant to choke Moscow's wartime production. Russian imports of nitrocellulose, a highly flammable cotton product central to gunpowder and rocket propellant production, surged 70% in 2022, the first year of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and midway through 2023 imports amounted to 3,039 tons of the product - nearly double the 2021 level. Another supplier of cotton pulp, China, increased its supplies after U.S. and European (EU) sanctions. However, according to Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, "Sino-Russian economic and trade cooperation is not directed against any third party and should not be violated or coerced by any third party... China does not sell weapons to parties involved in the Ukraine crisis and handles exports of dual-use goods in a reasonable manner in accordance with laws and regulations." According to Russian customs data provided by trade database, Import Genius, Turkish company Noy İç Ve Diş Ti̇caret accounted for nearly half of Russia's nitrocellulose imports since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began, with most of the Istanbul-based company's sales to Russian companies that are government contractors based in Moscow. The Turkish Embassy, as well as representatives of the company, declined to comment. Nitrocellulose supplies to Russia have also been found to contain chemical tracers from the U.S. company, International Flavors & Fragrances, which suspended its direct shipments to Russia in April 2022 but continued them through third countries. The company said its product didn't contain enough nitrogen to be a component of an explosive. However, Michelle Pantoja, a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University who heads the combustion laboratory's research center, said the nitrogen content of civilian nitrocellulose could be increased to the required level. In December, the U.S. Department of Commerce added nitrocellulose to its list of high-priority controlled commodities, which restricts its exports, and the Treasury Department said it would impose sanctions on banks or other institutions found to be financing such international trades. To be effective, however, sanctions must also apply to nitrocellulose supplier companies, said a Rand analyst. Last year, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) claimed to have documents in its possession which showed that more than 98% of nitrocellulose imported into Russia is supplied by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and that imports have increased since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Import Genius database revealed that in 2022 and early 2023, Fergana Chemical Plant, one of the largest cotton pulp producers in Uzbekistan, not only supplied raw materials to Russian importing companies, but also made direct shipments to two Russian gunpowder plants - one in Kazan, the other in Perm - worth more than $2.2 million. In total, according to a joint investigation by Important Stories, OCCRP and Vlast.kz, the plant supplied 2,700...

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