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News Snippets

Issue Date: Aug 15, 2013
>> A group of 12 US senators has called on Uzbek President Islam Karimov to “immediately and unconditionally” release two journalists and one human rights advocate who, supporters say, were jailed for their work. In a letter to the Uzbek leader, the lawmakers said the release of journalists Salijon Abdurakhmanov and Dilmurod Saidov and human rights advocate Akzam Turgunov would “further our important bilateral relationship”.

Moralists hitch on AIDS

Issue Date: Apr 30, 2013
Tattooing is evil and creates “aggression and hostility in the mind of a human being,” a voiceover says. This scene is part of a programme broadcast on Uzbek state television’s First Channel on February 20. Besides the “moral damage” tattoos do, a doctor included in the programme also tells viewers that tattoos have the potential to cause skin diseases and contribute to the spread of AIDS.

Rapping in discord

Issue Date: Jul 15, 2012
A rap song, that claims Uzbeks to be superior to Krygyz people, is stoking tension in the southern Krygz city of Osh. Two years after ethnic clashes between Uzbek and Krygyz communities in Osh left 400 dead and tens of thousands displaced, the song declares the city to be an Uzbek region and asks the Krygyz to go back to their mountains in Alai. News blog kloop.kg quoted the song as proclaiming, “When meeting face-to-face (with us), you (ethnic Kyrgyz) can’t do anything; strong Uzbek guys are number one in all of the (country's) districts.”

Patriotic Facebook

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2012
At first glance, it looks like Facebook with a different script. But it is actually a clone. Youface.uz’s resemblance to Facebook does not stop with the welcome page. Ayub Abdulloh, the site’s founder, told news agency RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service his website may look like the world’s biggest social networking site but this is just to help it gather new members.

No space for dissent

Issue Date: Dec 15, 2011
A prominent Uzbek newspaper has suspended publication. Bakhodyr Yuldashev, the chief editor of the Russian-language Zerkalo XXI (Mirror XXI), told news agency Radio Free Europe the paper stopped publishing due to financial difficulties. But he also hinted that government pressure was among the reasons for the newspaper’s going off stands. “Any of our readers can confirm that we have had tonnes of critical reports. And no one likes criticism,” he says.

Place without persona

Issue Date: Nov 15, 2011
On October 13, Uzbek President Islam Karimov signed a decree that forbids naming towns, regions, villages, factories, streets or buildings after people or historical events. The decree requires that airports, train and bus stations, ports and other facilities must be named after the town, city or region where they are located.

News Snippets

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2011
>> Journalists from Sierra Leone, Senegal and The Gambia have formed a network after completing an intensive training on climate change in Sierra Leone.

Trapped by taboo

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2010
The news service Radio Free Europe collected evidence that proves an anti- AIDS campaigner in Uzbekistan was sentenced to seven years after authorities deemed his brochure incompatible with local traditions. Twenty-eight-year-old Maksim Popov, who heads the nonprofit Izis, was arrested in January 2009 and sentenced in September.

Russia gambles on gas prices

Issue Date: Apr 15, 2008
A landmark deal reached between Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom and three energy-rich Central Asian nations is likely to affect European consumers. On March 11, Gazprom agreed with heads of the gas companies from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan that starting in 2009, it will pay "European market prices" for Central Asian natural gas.

Uzbek farmers face criminal charges for not growing cotton, wheat

Issue Date: Jun 15, 2007
Farmers in eastern Uzbekistan are likely to face criminal charges for growing fruits, vegetables and other crops that they can sell instead of cotton and wheat demanded by the state. The agriculturists, in theory, belong to the private sector but in practice are tied to Soviet-style rules binding them to grow cotton and grain and to sell it to the state at artificially low prices. Uzbekistan was a part of the former Soviet Union. The prosecutor's office in Kuva district in the densely-populated Fergana valley is investigating farmers suspected of having breached contracts
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