Uzbekistan: At Least 18 Killed In Provincial Unrest

    Photo: Reuters [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Uzbek authorities announced on Mon. that 18 people were killed and 516 detained during the unrest that broke out last week in the country's autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan over a planned constitutional reform.

    • On Sun., Uzbekistan's Pres. Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that there have been "fatalities" among civilians and law enforcement during "destructive actions" by rioters in Nukus, the regional capital.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The conflict and reaction to the protests highlight the reality that Uzbekistan is still a tightly controlled state reminiscent of its time as part of the Soviet bloc. In clamping down hard on any form of dissent, this is a reminder that freedom of opinion still comes at a cost for the Uzbek people.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The actions of Uzbek law enforcement have been entirely justified to prevent violations of public order and to suppress illegal demonstrations and acts of conflict by protest organizers. The president's decision to reverse decisions and alter changes to the constitution affecting Karakalpakstan shows an awareness of and care for public opinion.

    Establishment split



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