Uzbekistan, Asia


Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, Uzbekistan continues to maintain rigid economic controls, which often repel foreign investors. The policy of gradual, strictly controlled transition has nevertheless produced beneficial results in the form of economic recovery after 1995. Uzbekistan's domestic policies of human rights and individual freedoms are often criticized by international organizations.
Male homosexuality is illegal in Uzbekistan. Punishment ranges from a fine to 3 years in prison. An openly gay journalist, was found guilty of sodomy (August 2003) and sentenced to more than five years in prison in a closed trial that highlighted concerns about media freedoms and pressure against homosexuals. Uzbekistan's penal code, which dates back to the former Soviet Union and was enacted into law under Stalin, outlaws homosexual sex. The journalist's sentence was reduced to 2 years community service (600 km from the capital). After international protests, he was given asylum by the United States on October 21st 2004 and left Uzbekistan quickly.

 

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Gay Uzbekistan Today

| June 9th, 2014 | Comments Off

Intro: a three week journey around the ancient and modern cities of Uzbekistan provides a stimulating and highly visual history lesson of the famous Silk Road. It also reveals a blind spot of homophobic policies against LGBT citizens.   Text and most photos by Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Also see Gay Uzbekistan News & Reports Also see: Uzbekistan Photo Gallery   One of the first things we noticed arriving in Tashkent were the numbers of policemen–on the streets, at subway entrances and down in subway stations (where photos are forbidden), in public markets, patrolling pedestrian underpasses of main roads, on major bridges over rivers, cruising the streets in cars and jeeps. They can stop and detain any driver to see their papers are in order–and mostly likely speedup the delay with a few som (money) slipped between palms. Police are present on street intersections, outside theaters, hotels, museums, and of course

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Uzbekistan: Moynak Town and Aral Sea Photo Gallery

| May 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

Moynaq is a city in northern Karakalpakstan province in western Uzbekistan. Formerly an active fishing sea port, it is now home to only a few thousand residents since the 1980s due to the recession of the Aral Sea. Formerly one of the four largest lakes in the world with an area of 68,000 km2(26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects (to raise cotton). By 2007, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called “one of the planet’s worst environmental disasters”. The region’s once-prosperous fishing industry has been essentially destroyed, bringing unemployment and economic hardship. In an ongoing effort in Kazakhstan to save and replenish the North Aral Sea, a dam project was completed in 2005; in 2008, the water level in this lake had risen by

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Nukus City and Area Photo Gallery

| May 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

Traveling by car from Khiva to the far west of the country to the town of Nukus and beyond to the Aral Sea is across dry flat desert terrain. Nukus is the sixth-largest city in Uzbekistan, and the capital of the autonomous Karakalpakstan Republic. The population of Nukus 2014 is approximately 230,000.  The city is best known for its world-class Nukus Museum of Art, also know as the Savitski Museum, after its founder Igor Savitski.     Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Khiva Photo Gallery 2

| May 27th, 2014 | Comments Off

Khiva is an impressive site on what was once the Great Silk Road from Asia to Europe.  Khiva was infamous for its long and brutal history as a slave-trading post. The historical old town was restored by the Soviets in the 1970s. The clustered array of mosques, madrassas and tiled minarets give a sense of how crowded and bustling this town must have been throughout its history.Extending 4,000 miles (6,437 km) the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length, beginning during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).   Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Khiva Photo Gallery 1

| May 27th, 2014 | Comments Off

Khiva is an impressive site on what was once the Great Silk Road from Asia to Europe.  Khiva was infamous for its long and brutal history as a slave-trading post. The historical old town was restored by the Soviets in the 1970s. The clustered array of mosques, madrassas and tiled minarets give a sense of how crowded and bustling this town must have been throughout its history.Extending 4,000 miles (6,437 km) the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length, beginning during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).   Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Bukhara Photo Gallery 2

| May 26th, 2014 | Comments Off

Central Asia’s holiest city, Bukhara has buildings spanning a thousand years of history, and a thoroughly lived-in old centre that probably hasn’t changed much in two centuries. It is one of the best places in Central Asia for a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. It was as capital of the Samanid state in the 9th and 10th centuries that Bukhara blossomed as Central Asia’s religious and cultural heart. Most of the center is an architectural preserve, full of medressas (schools), minarets, a massive royal fortress (the Ark) and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. 19th and 20th century government restoration efforts, mostly by the Soviets, have brought this one ruined and derelict  city back to life as a historical and touristic gem. (See other photo galleries: http://www.globalgayz.com/asia/uzbekistan/)     Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Bukhara Photo Gallery 1

| May 24th, 2014 | Comments Off

Central Asia’s holiest city, Bukhara has buildings spanning a thousand years of history, and a thoroughly lived-in old centre that probably hasn’t changed much in two centuries. It is one of the best places in Central Asia for a glimpse of pre-Russian Turkestan. It was as capital of the Samanid state in the 9th and 10th centuries that Bukhara blossomed as Central Asia’s religious and cultural heart. Most of the center is an architectural preserve, full of medressas (schools), minarets, a massive royal fortress and the remnants of a once-vast market complex. 19th and 20th century government restoration efforts, mostly by the Soviets, have brought this one ruined and derelict  city back to life as a historical and touristic gem. (See other photo galleries: http://www.globalgayz.com/asia/uzbekistan/)   Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Samarkand Photo Gallery 2

| May 17th, 2014 | Comments Off

The ancient city of Samarkand is a crossroad of diverse world’s cultures. Founded in the 7th century B.C. as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand reached a cultural and commercial peak in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The significant existing monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg’s Observatory. (See other photo galleries: http://www.globalgayz.com/asia/uzbekistan/)   Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Samarkand Photo Gallery 1

| May 17th, 2014 | Comments Off

Samarkand is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarkand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic center for scholarly study. (See other photo galleries: http://www.globalgayz.com/asia/uzbekistan/)   Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Fergana Valley, Rishtan Town Photo Gallery

| May 13th, 2014 | Comments Off

Fergana Valley is full of ancient and modern history as part of the Silk Road and the scene of a government massacre of protestors in 2007. Today it is quiet and many merchants and craftspeople ply their trades. Two well-known artisans are the Rustam Usmanov pottery makers of unique blue glaze “ishkor” which comes from red clay that is mined only here. The Bahrom family weavers make wool carpets of rich quality and color.     Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Fergana Valley, Kokand City Photo Gallery

| May 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

Kokand is a city in Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan with a population of about 200,000.It is on the crossroads of ancient trade routes and has existed since at least the 10th century. It was frequently mentioned in traveler’s accounts of the caravan routes between India and China.The present city began as a fort in 1732. In 1740 and became the capital of an Uzbek kingdom, the Khanate of Kokand boasting more than 300 mosques. Russian imperial forces captured the city in 1883 which then became part of Russian Turkistan.     Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Fergana Valley & City + Andijan City Photo Gallery

| May 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

Andijan is the Fergana Valley’s largest city and its spiritual mecca.  It is probably the country’s purest Uzbek city, and the best place to observe Uzbeks in their element.  Andijan is one of the oldest cities in the Fergana Valley. In some parts of the city archeologists have found items dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. Historically, it was an important city on the Silk Road. The main attractions here are it’s bazaars (Eski market) and chaikhanas  (tea house), brimming with color and life. The ‘Andijan massacre’ occurred when Uzbek Interior Ministry (MVD) and National Security Service (SNB) troops fired into a crowd of protesters in Andijan in Uzbekistan on 13 May 2005. Estimates of those killed on 13 May range from 187, the official count of the government, to several hundred. A defector from the SNB alleged that 1,500 were killed. Fergana is the valley’s least ancient

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Uzbekistan: Drive From Tashkent to Andijan City Photo Gallery

| May 12th, 2014 | Comments Off

Uzbekistan: The eastward drive from the capital of Tashkent to the city of Andijan, near the Chinese border, passes along a rugged highway that is smooth in places and torn up in others. It is heavily trafficked with tanker trucks carrying oil and natural gas. There are police checks that slow down traffic and police guards with machine guns at both ends of all tunnels and bridges. The trip is worth doing once for the beautiful mountainous scenery and for reaching the historic cities of Kokand, Fergana and Andijan. The latter city was the scene of a government crackdown (massacre) against demonstrators that killed–some say–hundreds of people.   Posted .

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Uzbekistan: Tashkent Photo Gallery 2

| May 4th, 2014 | Comments Off

Tashkent (meaning ‘Stone City’) is the capital of Uzbekistan with a population of about 2,309,300. Due to its position in Central Asia, Tashkent received Persian, Chinese and Turkic influences in its early history, before Islamisation in the 8th century AD. After destruction by Genghis Khan in 1219, the city was rebuilt and profited from the Silk Road. In 1865 it was conquered by the Russian Empire, and in Soviet times witnessed major growth and demographic changes by forced deportations from throughout the union. Today, as the capital of an independent Uzbekistan, Tashkent retains a multi-ethnic population with ethnic Uzbeks as the majority. (from Wikipedia) Tashkent city has a wide array of sites, ancient and modern. The city bustles with free enterprise from tiny hole-in-the-wall watch repair shops no bigger than 6’x6′ to enormous international 5-star hotels. It’s all  watched over carefully by ‘big brother’ government and its president Islam Karimov

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Uzbekistan: Tashkent Photo Gallery 1

| May 4th, 2014 | Comments Off

Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan with modern and ancient buildings and lifestyles. From donkey carts to Mercedes-Benz (a few) the city is a complex mix of ugly Soviet-style apartment blocks, sleek modern office buildings and historic Islamic-style mosques and museums. There is a wide range of fine hotels from plain two-star digs to five-star luxury splendors. The city bustles with commerce and capitalism with the usual behind-closed-doors corruption, political privilege and police bribes. But most tourists have a positive adventure as they follow the famous Silk Road route from Tashkent to Samarkand to Bukhara to Khiva–and perhaps to the dried-up Aral Sea that has rusting ships in the sand. (See other photo galleries: http://www.globalgayz.com/asia/uzbekistan/)    Posted .

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Gay Life in Uzbekistan

| March 5th, 2012 | Comments Off

Introduction A visit to Uzbekistan is a lesson in retrograde human rights policies. The level of respect for freedom of press and expression is very low. The country is politically a police state filled with the usual  paranoia, repression, corruption and strong-arm enforcement of socialist ideologies that bring more suffering to people than progress. Needless to  say, the LGBT community in Uzbekistan is virtually non-existent as an organization even for health care purposes. The infamous jailing of an author of a HIV prevention brochure in 2010 caused outrage from human rights activists. His crime was to mention same sex activity in his educational brochure. It will be a long time before “Gay Life in Uzbekistan” and human rights take their rightful place in national policies in Uzbekistan.   Compiled by Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com March 2012   Country Description Decades of questionable Soviet policies in pursuit of greater cotton production have

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