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Majlis Podcast: How Far Has Tashkent Gone In Greater Respect For Religious Rights?


Muslim men pray in a mosque near Tashkent.

On December 7, the U.S. State Department announced it was removing Uzbekistan from the Special Watch List of Religious Freedom Violators due to what the State Department called "concrete progress" made by the Uzbek government over the past year.

Under President Shavkat Mirziyoev, who was elected on December 4, 2016, Uzbekistan has made some progress addressing the long list of rights violations that came to characterize the Uzbek government under Mirziyoev's predecessor, Islam Karimov.

But people see this progress differently. Some hail what they see as major breakthroughs, but others view it as small and slow change.

On this week's Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion that looks at changes in Uzbekistan since Mirzioyev came to power.

This week's guests are: from Tashkent, Dilmira Matyaubowa, a researcher and co-founder at UzInvestigations and research fellow at the U.K.-based Foreign Policy Center; also currently in Uzbekistan, Steve Swerdlow, an associate professor of human rights practice at the University of Southern California and veteran Central Asia watcher; from Washington, D.C., Keely Bakken, a Central Asia analyst at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Majlis Podcast: Uzbekistan's Report Card On Religious Freedom, Human Rights
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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