Search RFE/RL

Suppressing Karakalpakstan’s Sovereignty

Two years have passed since violence erupted in western Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan Sovereign Republic.

Two years have passed since violence erupted in western Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan Sovereign Republic. In early July 2022, Uzbek law enforcement personnel used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse thousands of Karakalpaks gathered in a peaceful protest in the Karakalpak capital, Nukus, over proposed changes to Uzbekistan’s constitution that would have stripped Karakalpakstan of its nominal status as a sovereign republic and right to conduct a referendum to secede from Uzbekistan. Officially, 21 people were killed, most of them protesters. Since then, Uzbek authorities have imprisoned dozens of Karakalpaks, and Karakalpak activists located in other countries are also facing pressure. Joining host Bruce Pannier to discuss the topic are Leila Nazgul Seiitbek, a lawyer and chairwoman of the NGO Freedom for Eurasia; Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director of Human Rights Watch; and Mynaim, a pseudonym for a Karakalpak activist living outside Uzbekistan. (Note: Mynaim’s comments have been voiced over to protect her identity, family, and friends in Karakalpakstan.)

Majlis podcast

Latest Episodes

In this biweekly podcast, host Bruce Pannier welcomes expert guests to discuss significant political developments and pressing social issues affecting the nations of Central Asia.

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

Suppressing Karakalpakstan’s Sovereignty

Two years have passed since violence erupted in western Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan Sovereign Republic.

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

The Threat Posed by IS-K To Central Asia — And Beyond

The threat of terrorism is never far from the minds of officials in Central Asia, who know that their region shares a 2,000-kilometer border with Afghanistan.

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

The Rise Of The Organization Of Turkic States

Turkey is building up its influence in Central Asia — as shown by the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

Tajik Government’s Crackdown In Gorno-Badakhshan Enters Third Year

Two years have passed since the Tajik government launched its crackdown on residents of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, or GBAO.

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

Clamping Down On Religious Freedom In Central Asia

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) just released its annual report on freedom of religion in the world.

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

British Foreign Secretary Cameron Visits Central Asia

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron just completed an official trip to all five Central Asian states.

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

Are Tajik Government Policies Helping Create Terrorists?

Can an authoritarian government’s policies contribute to its citizens becoming terrorists?

An image of the logo for the Majlis Podcast, which focus on Central Asian issues

Tajiks In Russia Living In Fear After Moscow Terrorist Attack

Russian security forces arrested several Tajik citizens in the wake of the March 22 attack on the Crocus City Hall outside Moscow that left more than 140 dead.

Subscribe to the Central Asia in Focus Newsletter

RFE/RL’s Central Asia in Focus newsletter delivers the latest news and insights direct to your inbox.

By clicking above to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to our marketing platform, Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices.