Violent demonstrations in Uzbekistan: “victims among civilians and law enforcement officials”

President Shavkat Mirzigoyev. © Reuters

Recent anti-government protests in authoritarian Central Asian Uzbekistan have resulted in “casualties” among civilians and law enforcement alike. This was stated by President Shavkat Mirzigoyev on Sunday during a speech in Karakalpakstan Autonomous Region, the epicenter of the protests. Mirzijeev did not specify the number of victims involved, whether they were dead or injured.

gjssource: BELGA

The protests are the president’s worst crisis in power since 2016. On Saturday, Mirzijeev said he would cancel some proposed constitutional changes as a result of the protests. Meanwhile, the President declared a state of emergency in Karakalpakstan to ensure “the safety of the citizens” and “the return of the rule of law” in the region. The procedure will remain in effect for a month. Calm appears to have returned on Sunday in the capital, Nukus.

The proposed reforms caused unrest in Karakalpakstan, where explicit references to the region’s autonomy were removed from the text. The media reported riots and protests on Friday, and there were also protests on Saturday.

A Turkic ethnic minority, Karakalpak, lives in the Karakalpakstan region. It is one of the poorest regions of the country. About 2 million people live there.

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