Uzbekistan. In January, President Islam Karimov was sworn in for a third term, despite the president being allowed to run for re-election only once.
Uzbekistan’s security service was identified at the beginning of the year as guilty of the murder of regime-critical Uzbek journalist Alisjer Saipov in Kyrgyzstan in 2007. According to a report by the International Crisis Group, there were strong indications that Uzbekistan’s security service was behind Saipov’s murder.
In April, the regime-critical poet Yusuf Juma was sentenced to five years of forced labor accused of attacking the police. Juma, who denied the accusations, had been arrested while participating in a protest against the regime. His son was sentenced by the same court in Buchara to three years of conditional punishment, but according to the family, the son had been tortured and forced to admit under threat that his father would otherwise receive a 20-year sentence.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of UZ in general and in geography as Uzbekistan in particular.
In June, a couple of political prisoners were released, probably following pressure from the United States. One of them was Ahmadjon Odilov, 83, the political prisoner who served the longest sentence in Uzbekistan.
In October, regime-critical freelance journalist Solijon Abdurachmanov was sentenced to ten years in prison for drug offenses. He denied and claimed that he was subject to a plot. The verdict fell shortly after a media freedom forum was held in Tashkent and it was followed by another 10-year prison sentence against a human rights lawyer accused of blackmail. According to human rights groups, the charge was fabricated.
Despite the suppression of human rights suppression in Uzbekistan, there were strong forces within the EU that wanted to lift the sanctions against the country. The United States also showed signs of wanting to approach the regime in Tashkent, to counter Russia’s influence in the region and to facilitate its transportation of supplies to Afghanistan. Ahead of the NATO summit in Romania in April, President Karimov said yes to transport by road through Uzbekistan to Afghanistan.
In December, health care officials anonymously confirmed to foreign media that more than 40 children, most of them newborns, had been infected with HIV at a hospital in the city of Namangan in the Fergana Valley. In the local media, the case was not reported, which was reportedly handed over to prosecutors.
Area: 447,400 km2 (world ranking: 56)
Population density: 72 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 42)
Capital: Toshkent (Tashkent)
Official languages: Uzbek
Gross domestic product: 48.7 billion US $; Real growth: 5.3%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 1980 US$
Currency: 1 Uzbekistan-So’m (US) = 100 Tiyin
Perleberger Str. 62, 10559 Berlin
Telephone 030 3940980,
Fax 030 39409862
Head of State: Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Head of Government: Abdulla Oripov, Exterior: Abdulaziz Komilov
National holiday: 1.9. (Independence Day)
Administrative division of
12 regions, the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan and the capital
State and form of government
Constitution of 1992
Parliament (Oliy Majlis): House of Representatives with 150 members (135 elected, 15 reserved for the ecological movement); Senate with 100 members (84 indirectly elected, 16 appointed by the President); Election every 5 years – direct election of the head of state every 5 years (one-off re-election)
Suffrage from 18 years of age
last count 1989: 19,906,000 residents
74% Uzbeks, 6% Russians, 5% Tajiks, 4% Kazakhs, 2% Crimean Tatars, 2% Karakalpaks, 1% Koreans and other
Cities (with population): Nukus as of 2014: 295,200 residents.
Religions: 93% Muslims (predominantly Sunnis), 4% Orthodox; Minorities of Jews, Catholics and Protestants (status: 2006)
Languages: Uzbek; Russian, languages of the minorities.
Workers by economic sector: Agriculture. 22%, industry 38%, business 40% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 7.2%
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 12.5%
Foreign trade: import: 12.0 billion US$ (2017); Export: 10.5 billion US $ (2017)
Imam is released after 15 years in prison
The former imam Ruchiddin Fachriddinov has been released after 15 years in prison, reports AFP. Fachriddinov was a preacher in a mosque in Tashkent when he was arrested during one of the Karimov regime’s crackdown on religious groups not approved by the state. Fachriddinov was sentenced in 2005 to 17 years in prison for extremism but was released a couple of years early. Fachriddinov is not allowed to work as an imam after his release. There are reports that he has been tortured in prison.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Uzbekistan in 2008 was 28,515,798, ranking number 42 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.530% yearly, and the population density was 67.0332 people per km2.