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February 23, 2017

Joint Letter to Human Rights Council: Upholding international law in South Sudan

in News

To Permanent Representatives of member and observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council RE: Renewing the mandate of the Commission on Human…
February 23, 2017

Addressing Civic Space Restrictions in Uganda: What Role for the UPR?

This policy action brief, prepared by CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance, and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), examines a range of…
February 22, 2017

CIVICUS Fellowship Programme

in News

The CIVICUS Fellowship Programme is an exciting new venture in which key experts will be placed into national and/or regional organisations for the period…
February 21, 2017

Civil Society “Contested and Under Pressure”, says new report

Read this press release in Arabic, French, Portuguese and Spanish Civil society around the globe is “contested and under pressure” according to a 22-country…
February 16, 2017

Joint Letter to UN Human Rights Council: More attention needed on human rights violations in…

in News

To: Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council RE: Sustaining attention to human rights violations in China Excellency,…
February 13, 2017

Gambian civil society optimistic as new democratic era dawns

in News

The Gambia has recently gone through a major democratic transition. CIVICUS interviews Sohna Sallah, the Vice President of the Democratic Union of Gambian Activists…


Don't lecture the Americans about our values. Demonstrate them.

By Danny Sriskandarajah and Julia Sanchez  There has never been a better time for Canada to show progressive leadership globally in support of inclusive and open societies that respect human rights. As the government prepares a…

Against all odds: Civil society under fire

By Danny Sriskandarajah Civil society is under fire—sometimes literally—in many countries and in all regions of the world. Governments are clamping down on fundamental civic freedoms. This year’s Global Risks Report highlights the threat to civic space,…

In a time of exclusion, making space for Faith Based Organizations

By Amjad Mohamed Saleem For many people around the world, faith is embedded in cultures, practices and communities. Earlier this month, World Interfaith Harmony week taught us that religious practices and perspectives continue to be sources…

Sustainable development for all ages

By Danny Sriskandarajah It’s a global phenomenon, already exerting a profound social and economic impact in both rich and poor countries. So why are so few development professionals talking about population aging? Our planet’s rapidly shifting…

Leave no person with disabilities behind

By Leave No One Behind Partneship and ADD International Pushpa Rani had pneumonia when she was eight years old, which left her extremely weak. Eventually, she lost all movement in her legs. Pushpa joined a women's self-help group,…

OGP must protect space for people power - before it is too late

By Cathal Gilbert  In some Open Government Partnership (OGP) member countries, the threats to peaceful dissent and activism are extremely grave. Examples include the assassinations of five social leaders in just one week in Colombia, the police’s…

The Uzbek government is systematically violating civil society freedoms of expression, assembly and association. Common tactics include denying civil society organisations registration and legal status, and persecution of activists by such methods as imprisonment, physical attacks and psychological pressure. It is also common for the government to attempt to coerce local activists to cooperate with authorities and secret services, block civil society websites and other media channels, and deny exit visas and freedom of movement to control the activities of human rights defenders, independent journalists and members of the opposition.

As a result of such tactics, civil society in Uzbekistan exists in a state of attrition and fragmentation. “Fewer and fewer committed, independent civil society activists are remaining in Uzbekistan,” says Expert Working Group founder and director, Sukhrobjon Ismoilov. “Civil society remains under threat and human rights conditions are getting even worse as the regime increases its clampdown on activists.”

The situation is exacerbated by international isolation. It is ten years since the government allowed any UN officials access to discuss human rights issues. The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment visited Uzbekistan in 2002 only after long years of repeated requests, but has been denied a follow-up visit since 2005. The Uzbek government has also repeatedly denied invitations to over 10 other UN independent experts. Activists in Uzbekistan therefore struggle to get their voices heard.

“At a time when the world is opening up and efforts are underway in a number of countries to democratise, the Uzbek government continues to isolate itself from the international community, to the detriment of its people,” says Netsanet Belay, Policy and Research Director at CIVICUS. “Uzbekistan’s international partners cannot afford to look the other way as the rights of Uzbek people are violated.”

CIVICUS and the Expert Working Group call upon the Uzbek government to respect and protect the rights of civil society actors in accordance with international human rights instruments, and ensure access for UN human rights experts and special representatives to advise on and monitor progress towards the realisation of international human rights standards.



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