• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 7 - 12 of 26

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...

Uzbek-born Billionaire Alisher Usmanov Takes On German Prosecutor

Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has filed a complaint alleging a violation of his rights by officers of the General Prosecutor's Office in the German city of Frankfurt am Main. A criminal case has been opened against two prosecutors, according to the newspaper Bild. In 2022 Usmanov was accused of money laundering, prompting law enforcement to search a villa linked to him on Lake Tegernsee in Germany, an apartment near Frankfurt am Main, and a yacht, Dilbar, which was then moored at the port of Bremen. In 2023, a Frankfurt am Main court ruled that the authorities' actions were illegal. The court ordered the return of property confiscated during the search, but this has not been fulfilled. Currently, a preliminary investigation is underway as per Usmanov's complaint. According to Statista, Alisher Usmanov ranked eighth among Russian billionaires in 2023, with a net worth estimated at $14.4 billion. He has been under EU sanctions since 2022, and is suspected of money laundering and tax evasion. Usmanov appealed the EU sanctions, saying they will lead to the bankruptcy of major Russian companies in which he holds large stakes - MegaFon, Metalloinvest and Udokan Copper, noted The Wall Street Journal. The U.K. had until recently imposed restrictions on the billionaire's sisters, Saodat Narzieva and Gulbahor Ismailova, and his adopted son, Nathan (Anton) Wiener, before these were removed in 2022. It was reported that several accounts in the Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, with assets in excess of $2 billion, were at one point registered under Narzieva's name. According to Usmanov, in the near future he intends to step down from his positions in business, and engage further in philanthropy.

Uzbek Children for Sale: What Compels Mothers to Part With Their Young Ones?

In Uzbekistan, yet more cases of children being sold have been uncovered by officers of the State Security Service. Law enforcement officers recently detained women trying to sell their children in four cities in Uzbekistan. A 29-year-old resident of Namangan tried to sell her ten-year-old son for $18,000 and was detained while receiving an advance payment of $4,000. A 31-year-old resident of Termez agreed to sell her newborn daughter for $2,000. She was detained while handing over the baby and receiving the money. A 33-year-old woman from Bukhara region, more recently living in Gulistan, was detained while trying to sell her two-week-old son for $40,000. And in the capital, a 27-year-old woman from Chirchik was detained for trying to sell her six-year-old son for $3,000. Child trafficking has taken on horrific proportions in recent years in Uzbekistan. According to the World Report on Trafficking in Persons, over the timespan from 2014 to 2020, 380 cases of trafficking in newborns were uncovered here. Year after year, these figures continue to increase. Prices for babies range from $200 to $40,000. There are several reasons that drive mothers to such drastic measures. The first is the overall plight of the mother. Often they have no way to make a living, have lost their husbands, or already have several older children. Another child becomes an impossible burden for her -- which can be eased by earning money to feed, clothe, and house herself and the remaining family members. There have been cases when children were offered in exchange for an apartment. The weak state system of support for women in difficult life situations puts these mothers in an impossible situation, having to choose between living in poverty or giving their children and themselves a chance to live in better conditions in the future. Secondly, fear of shame and being publicly ostracized are major factors. Young women and girls who become pregnant for reasons deemed socially unacceptable -- as well as victims of rape -- experience this. In an attempt to hide the pregnancy and the child, such mothers often temporarily move to another city or region. This can culminate in the mother trying to get rid of the child by selling it far away from their home regions after giving birth. Furthermore, Uzbekistan has a very complicated bureaucratic system of adoption, which helps drive the black market for the trafficking of newborns and children. Because of this bureaucracy, only a few people manage to take the desired child home from an orphanage. Therefore, childless couples look for a way to get a child directly from a maternity hospital. The mediator in such transactions is often the medical staff, who negotiate all the terms of sale with the biological mother and adoptive parents in advance. The problem of selling children in Uzbekistan must be addressed comprehensively, experts say. The introduction of sex education lessons in schools is a necessity, as well as the introduction of state programs to support women in need, tougher penalties for...

Uzbekistan Warns of Labor Migration Fraud involving United States

The press service of the State Security Service (SGB) of Uzbekistan has reported cases of fraud centered around false promises of helping Uzbek workers obtain documents to work in the United States. The first case took place in the capital, Tashkent, where three fraudsters were caught red-handed defrauding six people out of a total of $32,000 by promising to help them obtain visa documents and send them to work in the U.S. via Europe. The next instance took place in Bukhara, where a thrice-convicted local resident offered to help a friend obtain a visa and employment in the U.S., requesting a payment of $40,000. He was detained in the act of receiving the first payment of $30,000. The next three incidents took place in Samarkand. In the first case, two men offered a resident the same services, but via a roundabout route: Uzbekistan - Turkey - Portugal - Guatemala - Mexico - USA. They also asked for a smaller payment of $23,000. When they received the $10,000 advance payment, they were detained. In the second case, the two promised to provide the same services and send the man on the same route. They also demanded $23,000 and were apprehended when receiving an advance payment. A third case followed a similar pattern. in all cases, criminal proceedings were initiated under articles pertaining to fraud in the criminal code.