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Majlis Podcast: The Fate Of 'Googoosha'


Gulnara Karimova

Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the former Uzbek president, sought for many years to be the center of attention: globe-trotting, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, trying to convince people she belonged in high society.

Five years after being arrested in Uzbekistan, Gulnara is again receiving attention, though it is a very different sort of attention than the headlines the glamorous "Googoosha" had been seeking.

On March 5, a Tashkent court ordered that Karimova be transferred from house arrest to prison after she broke the terms of her home confinement.

On March 7, the United States Justice Department charged Karimova with soliciting more than $865 million in bribes for access to Uzbekistan’s telecommunications market.

Karimova's alleged violations of the law are becoming clearer, but her personal situation inside Uzbekistan is shrouded in mystery. International rights groups and others point out that even a person such as Karimova, with all the stories of her supposed avarice and vanity, deserves fair legal representation and a fair and open trial.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on what is known about Karimova’s current situation and what her future prospects might be.

Participating from Washington is Catherine Putz, managing editor at The Diplomat and author of many articles about Central Asia, including the Karimova case.

Also from Washington (at the moment at least), our friend Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, joins the discussion.

From Prague, Farruh Yusupov, the head of RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, but previously a member of RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service, known locally as Ozodlik, where he reported on the Karimova case, takes part.

And I've become very familiar with the events of Karimova’s life over the last two decades, so I throw in a few comments, too.

Podcast: The Fate Of 'Googoosha'
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes.

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 some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

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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