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Uzbekistan

2010



Kazakhstan, the current chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, has failed to live up to its press freedom commitments, CPJ’s Muzaffar Suleymanov told the Congressional Helsinki Commission in Washington today.

Protesters in a square in downtown Andijan, Uzbekistan, on May 13, 2005. (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

Five years ago today, Dilorom Abdukadirova, 44, managed to escape the heavy spray of bullets in her native Uzbek city of Andijan. On that day, government troops shot and killed hundreds of civilian protesters on the orders of President Islam Karimov. Leaving behind her husband and four children, Abdukadirova found a refuge in Australia, where she counted the days until she could again embrace her family.

Having suppressed independent journalism relatively completely in the country, the authoritarian Uzbek regime has now turned to other sectors of society it perceives as threatening to its ideology. State appointed so-called “experts” on undefined Uzbek national traditions are being dispatched on a witch hunt against independent-minded individuals, including a filmmaker and an anti-HIV/AIDS activist. This dangerous policy is in full swing at home but has been concealed from the world ever since Uzbekistan slammed its doors shut to the international community in the aftermath of the 2005 Andijan massacre.

ReutersAddressing the joint session of Uzbekistan’s parliament on Wednesday, President Islam Karimov urged his lawmakers to be more active in their work, saying that laws should address public needs, and blaming the local press corps for being “toothless” in its reporting, regional news Web site Ferghana reported.  

In his speech, available on the parliament’s Web site, Karimov, at left, said the legislative body should strengthen its control over the executive branch of the government, and added that the success of this process largely depends on “active participation of mass media.”

Umida Akhmedova, a prominent photojournalist in Uzbekistan, is facing criminal charges of insulting the Uzbek people. The charges stem in part from a 2007 album of photography depicting life in Uzbekistan’s villages. Here is a slide show featuring images from the album. 

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6th Most censored nation. No independent media operate domestically.

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Europe and Central Asia

Program Coordinator:
Nina Ognianova

Research Associate:
Muzaffar Suleymanov

nognianova@cpj.org
msuleymanov@cpj.org

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Fax: 212-465-9568

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