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Uzbekistan slipping backwards to earlier repression

Friday, May 7, 2021

Significance

As he heads towards a presidential election in October, specific recent developments and the general direction of travel indicate a desire to tighten rather than ease the government's grip. Repressive tactics have been deployed in response to the emergence of opposition and other independent groups, and to a recent piece of investigative journalism concerning Mirzioyev.

Impacts

  • COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have been tightened again and enforcement will provide a pretext for repression.
  • Prosecutors' request for an eleven-year jail term for blogger Otabek Sattoriy exemplifies the misuse of criminal law.
  • Foreign companies looking to benefit from cheap, non-unionised labour risk reputational damage.

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