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News & Updates

At an October 22 briefing designed to tout the enhanced relationship between the United States and Uzbekistan ahead of the first visit to the Central Asian country by a U.S. secretary of state in seven years, a senior State Department official was asked whether this strategic partner was still boiling people alive. The fact that this question needed to be asked is a worrisome sign for U.S. moral authority.


Letter to Secretary Clinton on Uzbekistan, September 27, 2011

Uzbekistan, one of the world’s most repressive countries, launched its own social networking site Muloqot (“dialogue) on September 1. User access to the site will be restricted to Uzbek citizens and they will be required to provide a cell phone number in order to register. Although the level of censorship the site will be subjected to is unclear, given the authoritarian nature of the regime, it is likely the government will monitor content and user activity. Muloqot will aim to rival Facebook, which remains the most popular social networking site in Uzbekistan with over 80,000 users. The launch was scheduled to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s “independence.”

The Uzbekistan Supreme Court approved a decision this week to close Human Rights Watch’s office in Tashkent. The organization received information from the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan that the Justice Ministry was planning to liquidate the Tahkent office and scheduled an initial hearing on March 15.


Signature Reports

Special Reports

Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On

“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report  concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.

Worst of the Worst 2011: The World's Most Repressive Societies

Freedom House has prepared this special report entitled Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, as a companion to its annual survey on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World. The special report provides summary country reports, tables, and graphical information on the countries that receive the lowest combined ratings for political rights and civil liberties in Freedom in the World, and whose citizens endure systematic and pervasive human rights violations.


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