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January 20, 2017

CIVICUS: #WhyWeMarch

On Saturday, 21 January 2017, millions will gather in Washington D.C. and in hundreds of other cities around the world to take part in…
January 19, 2017

CIVICUS urges release of Cameroonian activists

Global civil society alliance CIVICUS urges the release of recently arrested leaders of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) and all activists and…
January 19, 2017

Shock and sadness spurs anti-Trump protestors

in News

Ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America, activists and civil society are mobilising protests against the…
January 18, 2017

70 civil society groups call on Ecuadorian President to end persecution of civil society and…

Click here to read a Spanish language version of this release Seventy Latin American and international civil society organisations have endorsed a letter urging…
January 18, 2017

Syrian civil society not being heard by international donors

in News

CIVICUS asked Nibal Salloum, program manager at the Syrian peace-building organisation Nuon, about the situation for civil society in Syria and the challenges faced…
January 17, 2017

The Gambia: Time to respect the will of Gambians

Global civil society alliance CIVICUS urges Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to respect constitutional norms and the will of the Gambian people. As the 19 January…


Importance of protest in a Trump United States

By Elizabeth Stephens  In a speech shortly after the November election, President Barack Obama urged anti-Trump protesters not to be silent. Yet, the number and attendance of events meant to challenge the values embodied by a…

Under threat: five countries in which civic space is rapidly closing

By Danny Sriskandarajah The closing of civic space is not just about people’s right to organize or protest in individual countries. This year’s Gobal Risks Report, published last week by the World Economic Forum ahead of…

Why Trump, Brexit and populism could be an opportunity

By Danny Sriskandarajah Many of the business and political leaders gathering in Davos this week will be focused on how to protect the global economic order - and their interests - after a year of major…

The death of Baek Nam-gi: tragic local story connects to troubling global trend

By Gayoon Baek On the 25th of September 2016, a 70-year old farmer died in South Korea of a brain haemorrhage after 317 days unconscious. Since then, people have held candlelight vigils and a daily mass…

Monitoring, first step to halt shrinking civic space

By Bihter Moschini In 2015, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Tunisian civil society. At the close of last year, one of the nominees for the same prize was another civic group, the Syrian White…

Natural resource activists are paying a heavy price

By Danny Sriskandarajah and Elisa Peter  Today, natural resource campaigners are facing increasingly virulent push-back from political leaders and powerful corporations intent on defending vested interests. From dam construction on the Honduran Gualcarque River, to gold…

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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