Profile Series: Uzbekistan: Political Conditions in the Post-Soviet Era   [open pdf - 73KB]

"Unlike most of the former Soviet republics, in which governments have become more democratic and less able to control societal opposition, Uzbekistan's political structure and its level of governmental repression and control remain virtually unchanged from the Soviet era. Uzbekistan's president, Islam Karimov, was elected in the Soviet period. The ruling National Democratic Party automatically incorporated all members of the Uzbek Communist Party in its membership when it was created as a successor to the Communist Party. The Karimov government is extremely intolerant toward the opposition parties which were formed in the glasnost period preceding the collapse of the Soviet Union. The press is now rigidly censored. Human, civil and ethnic rights are abridged and restored solely at the whim of the government. Almost all of the opposition parties and movements formed before Uzbek independence have been banned, while human rights organizations have been harassed, their leaders jailed and convicted, often on unlikely criminal charges such as drug trafficking or assaulting a security officer. Individuals are more free now to practice religion than during the Soviet era -- as long as the government perceives their religious beliefs and practices to be apolitical. […]. Moreover, the Uzbek government actively represses those religious movements which are involved in, or perceived as involved in, political issues. […]. In summary, although the high level of repression in Uzbekistan affects most residents, those at greatest risk are those who either are involved in political opposition to the government (through secular ideological parties, human rights groups, or ethnic- or religious-based movements), or who are perceived by the government as being engaged in political opposition."

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/
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