Uzbekistan president announces ‘fatalities’ in provincial unrest | Protests News

Uzbekistan’s president stated there have been casualties amongst civilians and regulation enforcement personnel after uncommon public protests within the nation’s autonomous northwestern Karakalpakstan province, which has seen important unrest over a deliberate constitutional reform.

In an announcement posted on-line on Sunday, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev stated rioters had carried out “damaging actions” within the metropolis of Nukus, throwing stones, beginning fires and attacking police.

“Sadly, there are fatalities amongst civilians and regulation enforcement officers,” Mirziyoyev stated throughout a speech in Karakalpakstan that was relayed by his press service on Telegram. He didn’t specify the quantity and nature of the casualties.

An exiled opposition politician, Pulat Ahunov, instructed Reuters information company that, based mostly on contacts with native sources and video proof, no less than 5 individuals had been killed. He stated there have been unconfirmed experiences of dozens extra useless.

Ahunov stated individuals had been unable to maneuver round and download extra data due to a state of emergency imposed by the authorities.

Karakalpakstan has seen important web outages because the draft amendments had been printed final week, stripping the area of its nominal “sovereign” standing and its proper to secede from Uzbekistan by way of standard referendum.

Mirziyoyev has since dropped plans to roll again the province’s autonomy after the demonstrations.

“In accordance with the structure, it’s an autonomous area, it has its personal parliament, it has quite a few privileges that it’s alleged to take pleasure in together with the chance to carry an election and select to secede from Uzbekistan,” Bruce Pannier, a Prague-based journalist specialising in Central Asia, instructed Al Jazeera.

The realm takes its identify from the Karakalpak individuals, who are properly represented in cities resembling Nukus, the place the protests came about, however now represent a minority within the western area of two million individuals.

“In Uzbekistan usually, protests are very uncommon as a result of safety forces have a really robust grip over the nation,” Pannier stated.

“In Karakalpakstan particularly, they’ve had some a lot smaller protests through the years just because it’s a depressed space. It doesn’t see a lot funding, there are a selection of well being issues there, so it’s commonplace for there to be protests, however one thing this dimension is uncommon by the requirements of Uzbekistan.”

Uzbekistan on Saturday decreed a month-long state of emergency within the impoverished area the place the big protest erupted over the proposed modifications.

On Sunday, Mirziyoyev made a second go to to the area in two days.

“A bunch of individuals, hiding behind false slogans, gained the belief of residents, misled them, disobeyed the lawful calls for of the authorities, prompted chaos, and tried to grab the buildings of native authorities our bodies,” he instructed native lawmakers.

“A number of teams tried to grab the buildings of the Nukus Metropolis Division of Inside Affairs and the Division of the Nationwide Guard with a view to download weapons,” he claimed.

“Making the most of their numerical superiority, these males attacked regulation enforcement officers, severely beating them and inflicting extreme accidents,” he added.

Uzbekistan is a tightly managed Central Asian state and former Soviet republic the place the federal government clamps down arduous on any type of dissent.

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, stated on Twitter: “There are unconfirmed experiences of extreme drive utilized by safety personnel throughout protests in Nukus on July 1.” He known as for an investigation.


The international ministry of neighbouring Kazakhstan, whose authorities crushed violent protests in early January, stated it was involved by occasions in Uzbekistan.

“We welcome and help the selections of the highest management of Uzbekistan to stabilise the state of affairs within the Republic of Karakalpakstan,” the ministry stated in an announcement.

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