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Uzbekistan

Yearbook 2010

Uzbekistan. In January, the second round of the parliamentary elections started before the New Year. According to COUNTRYAAH, no opposition parties were allowed to participate, and openly opposition politicians were imprisoned or had fled the country. In addition, in practice, Parliament had no power over President Islam Karimov. The parties that were elected were all loyal to Karimov. The OSCE had election observers in place, but only a few. The election was considered pointless from a democratic point of view, but Karimov himself claimed that the election showed that the country was approaching the creation of democracy.

2010 Uzbekistan

Following a scandal involving 147 children infected with HIV in hospital care, in March 21 people were sentenced to prison for between five and eight years. The care workers were accused of causing the infection through carelessness and poor hygiene. The children were infected in 2007 and 2008, and several of them have since died.

This spring's bloody political and ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan had repercussions in Uzbekistan. Tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks in the Kyrgyz part of the Fergana Valley fled the violence to Uzbekistan, but the regime there soon closed the border. President Karimov claimed that outside forces were behind the violence in Kyrgyzstan and tried to pull Uzbekistan into turmoil. He called for an independent international investigation.

In August, it was reported that the armed guerrilla Uzbekistan's Islamic Movement (IMU) has been given a new leader, Usman Adil, after the former guerrilla leader was said to have been killed in one of the US military attacks in Pakistan. The IMU is linked to al-Qaeda and was considered to have grown in strength in recent years.

In November, a new political party, National interests, was formed by lawyer Ruhiddin Komilov, who had his lawyer's license revoked after defending human rights activists, independent journalists and political prisoners. About 15 people who participated in the founding of the party were arrested and interrogated by police.

An Uzbek imam who moved to Sweden was accused during the year by state television in Uzbekistan for planning terrorist acts against Uzbekistan. He was wanted by Interpol. Shortly before, Uzbek refugees in Sweden had told the media that they were exposed to espionage by the Uzbek regime and that refugees returning to Uzbekistan had been extorted and tortured.

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