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Podcast: Uzbekistan’s Wrongs On Rights, And A Tale Of Torture In Afghanistan


Steve Swerdlow of Human Rights Watch discusses Uzbekistan at RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague.

Steve Swerdlow of Human Rights Watch discusses Uzbekistan at RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague.

On Episode 52 of The Blender, we take an up-close-and-personal look at the situation in Uzbekistan.

Human Rights Watch released a report last month stating that the Central Asian nation has failed to provide its citizens with basic legal rights. The New York-based watchdog was also critical of Western governments, including the United States, for seeking closer ties with the authoritarian regime in Tashkent, despite its many abuses.

The Uzbek government expelled HRW’s Uzbekistan researcher Steve Swerdlow from the country last year. Swerdlow sat down for an interview in Prague with RFE/RL correspondent Bruce Pannier, a veteran Central Asia reporter.

They talk about Swerdlow’s personal experiences and observations and the many human rights violations that still occur in Uzbekistan.

Sahar Gul in a Kabul hospital on December 31

Sahar Gul in a Kabul hospital on December 31

We also have the story of the brutal torture a 15-year-old newlywed girl in Afghanistan says she was subjected to.

Sahar Gul says she suffered terrible injuries at the hands of her husband’s family before being rescued by police. The case shocked the country and its president, Hamid Karzai, who vowed to take action against the perpetrators.

We have a report produced by Radio Free Afghanistan correspondents Bashir Ghazali and Hameed Mohmand in Baghlan and Kabul.

This week's host is Bruce Jacobs.


Listen to or download Episode 52 of The Blender above, or subscribe to The Blender on iTunes. For the complete Blender archives, click here.

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