Sumalak festival 2014

Uzbek authorities try to make the country more attractive to foreigners. But problems potential tourists face, including the difficulty of the Uzbek visa, horrible border control service etc. At the end of April, Uzbekstourism and their partners organized an annual Sumalak Festival. The main target group of this event is diplomatic corps and foreigners who work in Uzbekistan. It was quite an event with beautiful dances, delicious food, fashion show and exciting athmosphere. By visiting this event I became more sure that Uzbekistan could do much better than just 1 million tourists per year. Let’s hope Uzbektourism (i.e. central government)…

Moynaq: The Graveyard of Ships and Hopes

neweurasia reports from the place which was called “the worst place on earth” by The Sunday Times Magazine in 2010. We are in Moynaq, once an important sea port, which witnessed one of the planet’s most severe environmental disasters, the Aral Sea shrinkage. According to data collected, one of the world’s four largest lakes till mid 1960s, the Aral Sea has shrunk to just 10 % of its original size. Here are some pictures of what Moynaq ‘seashore’ looks like today.

Newspapers Get Bigger, More Expensive: What and Who For?

The beginning of 2012 has become quite progressive for Uzbek media. First change: Newspapers of Uzbekistan that used to publish in an A4 format are now being published in an A3 one. The reason — new standards and technical requirements. Second change: Newspapers that belong to official governmental agencies are now 30% more expensive than in 2011. Of course, there are explanations justified enough to be acceptable. But, I am going to use this opportunity to think the way a regular reader presumably would.

Uzbekistan has a Human Rights-oriented government? Duh!..

Apart from expensive and useless receptions and seminars on human rights theory for high school and university students and older generations, i.e. former Communists who did not know about human rights during Soviet times, the government of Uzbekistan is not really interested in spreading more information on human rights with its own people who do not attend schools and are not invited to fancy events like the one organized by the National Human Rights Center directed by irreplaceable Akmal Saidov, with participation of international guests. Moreover, nobody in the government dares to even think about discussing real human rights situation…

The Aral Sea Disaster: Told By People Of Karakalpakstan, Yet Facing A Denial

“The water that serveth all that country is drawn by ditches out of the River Oxus, into the great destruction of the said river, for which it cause it falleth not into the Caspian Sea as it hath done in times past, and in short time all that land is like to be destroyed, and to become a wilderness for want of water, when the river of Oxus shall fail.” Anthony Jenkinson, 1558 Sometimes I think that people of Uzbekistan with a 28 million population know less about one of the greatest catastrophe in their own country than people worldwide.…

Reshuffle for a brighter future… for Karimov himself?

Uzbek Parliament’s decision to pass amendment to article 90 of the Constitution, which reduces the length of Presidential term from current seven to five years, is, most probably, the sexiest topic to discuss within different levels of communities in Uzbekistan. The honorable head of state thought that people’s attention would be drawn to the news on amnesty, not to his political decision to withdraw from the Oksaroy (the Uzbek White House). In fact, amnesty was discussed so many times that it was not an “in-trend” topic of people’s discussions. On the other hand, political activity in Uzbekistan is so low…

World Human Rights Day in Uzbekistan

U.S. Embassy Tashkent invites people to participate in a few events dedicated to honor Human Rights Day celebrated on December 10, the day when United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) back in 1948. For those who want to share their thoughts on “What Role Human Rights Play in Your Life?”, essay contest open to all residents of Uzbekistan, aged between 15 and 25, has been announced. Essays must be typed in English, Uzbek or Russian and be 500 words or shorter. The deadline for submitting essays is 17:00, December 7, 2011. Winners…

Censorship and Control of the Internet and Other New Media: Briefing Paper by Human Rights Groups

Central Asia: Censorship and Control of the Internet and Other New Media briefing paper has been released by International Partnership for Human Rights, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights and the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan. The document explores problems of censorship and control of the internet and other new media in Central Asia. It focuses on the situation in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, where the authorities closely monitor and restrict the use of the internet and other communications technologies, filter and block…

“Inspiring for new achievements!” People’s reactions on President’s message

While an anti-child labor in Uzbekistan international campaign draws attention of more and more people, provoking authorities to tighten control over independent rights activists, who monitor the violations of child rights and report them to international NGOs, Uzbek official media puts “letters of admiration and inspiration” from Uzbeks as a response to President Karimov’s congratulatory message to cotton growers. Narodnoe Slovo, Uzbek parliament-owned newspaper, has started publications of “ordinary people’s” messages on how the President inspired them to do more for their country. So, the first author of a letter, titled “Inspired for Wew Achievements,” is Olim Julliev, head of…

Parents of inmate hope that their report about acts of torture against their son will help find justice

Inmate Dilshod Shohidov’s parents have reported that their son is regularly subjected to acts of torture and similar ill-treatment in a high security prison # 64 / 46 in Navoi city of Navoi region, Expert Working Group (EWG) reports. According to NGo’s information, EWG has been providing legal aid to Shohidov’s family since 2009. This is not the first time the parents of inmate Dilshod Shohidov seek for the EWG’s assistance in submitting appeals and complaints on their son’s case to the official bodies in Uzbekistan. In spite of numerous appeals on acts of torture and similar ill-treatment addressed by…

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