NGOs in Uzbekistan Under Governmental Pressure
Tuesday, August 3, 2004 2:20 PM

Women Living Under Muslim Laws has released a call for urgent action to ensure that women’s NGOs in Uzbekistan can continue their work.

Since the beginning of 2004, women’s NGOs working for women’s rights have come under increased pressure form the Uzbekistan government. The women’s movement in the country is now under threat largely because of its continued criticism of the government. The Uzbekistan government has proclaimed several decrees and issued secret directives to banks that have obstructed the activities of women’s NGOs and at time made their work impossible.

According to the decrees issued, all women’s NGOs have to re-register with the official Women’s Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In order to release publications NGOs would have to apply for a special license, issued by a government officials. In addition, all funds from international grants would have to be transferred to the Uzbekistan National Bank. The grants would then undergo investigation by government officials who in turn would determine whether the NGO can access the funds.

In response to current human rights violations, the United States government has announced that it will withhold security and economic monetary assistance to Uzbekistan. In its 2004 country report on Uzbek human rights practices, the State Department characterized the country as “an authoritarian state with limited civil rights.” Uzbekistan could take several steps to show it is committed to improving the country’s democratization climate, including “opening up the political sphere and ceasing the harassment of non-governmental organizations and media.”

Fore more information regarding the urgent action appeal, please visit Women Living Under Muslim Laws.

Compiled from:
Uzbekistan: Authoritarian Measures Against Women’s NGOs, Women Living Under Muslim Laws International Coordination Office, 26 July 2004. 
United States Cuts Off Aid to Uzbekistan, Eurasia Insight, EurasiaNet 14 July 2004.