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A brief snippet from Uzbekistan 16, September 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Central Asia.
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…from Prospect magazine. I spent quite some time in Uzbekistan some years ago and did not notice the omnipresence of police and security forces in the capital as is mentioned in the piece. Friends currently working there, however, testify to a gradual slip into ever more draconian and authoritarian ways in recent years, mirroring what Prospect has to say.

Conversely, my time there was preoccupied with sampling the world-class tourist sites to be found dotted around the country. Samarkand and Bukhara are truly breathtaking. Go have a peak at my photos of them as clear and unequivocal proof (indeed, if a lousy photographer like me can take photos like those…). I suppose that in hindsight perhaps I was walking though the country in something of a typical tourist-like daze.

Currently, the country is run by a megalomaniacal dictator who boils dissidents as a form of torture, clamps down horrendously on any kind of popular uprisings and has eviscerated any notion of a pluralist society evolving with wide-spread repression. This, unfortunately, shows no signs of change with Uzbekistan’s not insignificant oil and gas reserves shielding them from anything approaching meaningful criticism.