Firuza Mirkhamidova was visiting family in her native Tashkent in October when she received an unexpected phone call. Her husband, Abdulvosi Latipov, had unexpectedly been released from jail in Volgograd, where they lived.
A court in Tajikistan has ordered the closure of a prominent rights group, citing a variety of alleged technical violations of its operating license, including moving offices without duly notifying authorities, engaging in unauthorized training sessions involving high school students and operating an improperly registered website.
Just days ahead of the country’s October 1 parliamentary vote, televised images of the brutal treatment of detainees at Georgia’s Prison No. 8 are stoking one of the most serious political crises ever encountered by President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration. The scandal has quickly scrambled assumptions about the upcoming election.
With Eurovision now a thing of the past, Azerbaijan’s Sing for Democracy civil rights activists are expressing concern about how to keep the country’s spotty civil-rights record in the international spotlight. As media attention moves on to other countries, they say, government crackdowns could resume against outspokenly critical human rights activists and journalists.
President Lee Myung-bak’s administration in South Korea is making a risky bet on Uzbekistan. Seoul is ramping up its investments in the Central Asian state, but given that Uzbekistan is home to one of the most world’s most repressive and arbitrary regimes, South Korean deals stand a higher than usual chance of souring.