Despite the end of communism, the Central Asian republics are still controlled by family-based oligarchtes that continue to rule with an iron-fist. Dissent is ruthlessly suppressed.
The summit-meeting of the five Caspian Sea countries in Iran on October 17, and the suspension of the European Union’s sanctions on Uzbekistan have focused attention on how the US, Russia, the EU and China are vying with each other for the rich energy resources of the Central Asian states in the region.
The first anniversary of the massacre of unarmed civilian protestors in the eastern city of Andijan by security forces acting on Uzbek government orders on May 13, 2005, has also attracted worldwide attention, mainly because the basic issues raised by the tragedy have so far not been addressed.
For those familiar with the ruthless brutality of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, the massacre of hundreds of civilians in the eastern city of Andijan on May 13 was no surprise. With a gruesome track-record that includes methods of torture such as boiling prisoners and the removal of body parts, ordering troops to gun down demonstrators and fleeing civilians is something the Uzbek dictator could conceivably do with glee.
Uzbekistan, which became independent when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, is yet another Muslim country under a tyrannical and exploitative dictator, and mired in civil strife and economic deprivation as a result of the corrupt and ruthless exercise of power...
President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan is one of Central Asian’s most repressive rulers. Yet the US, which claims to be the world’s main protector of human rights, has made him its ‘best friend’ in the region since September 2001.
It was a grisly reminder of the Uzbek government’s brutality in dealing with Islamic activists. The bodies of two Uzbek prisoners who had died under torture while in police custody were handed back to their families on August 8 for burial.
When the Muslim Central Asian countries became independent in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, their leaders — who had been regional heads of the KGB in most cases — promised prosperity and democracy.
President Islam Karimov, a dictator well-schooled in the old methods of Soviet repression, is intensifying his regime’s crackdown on all forms of dissent, whether Islamic or secular.
Twelve Uzbek Muslims were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to eight years last month, after being found ‘guilty’ of belonging to illegal Islamic organizations and other charges
The bogey of Islamic fundamentalism is so popular these days that even Uzbekistan seems to have discovered its utility. Last month, Uzbek foreign minister Abdulaziz Kamilov not only alleged that his government...
After four years of civil war which has left more than 100,000 dead, and the economy in shambles, the people of Tajikistan have had enough.
Like its neighbours Kazakhstan and Turkmenstan, Uzbekistan, too, hopes to kick-start its economy with the development of fuel and energy sectors.
Malaysia’s prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and Uzbekistan’s president Islam Karimov have received public recognition for their presumed services to Islam. Neither man will be dismayed by the dubiousness of the honour or its source.