TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service December 14, 2016 Neuer Saal, Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria QUESTION:  Journalists are being intimidated, attacked, and recently one of our journalists, another one, was arrested, as you might have heard.  Allashov was arrested along with at least five members of his ...
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Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Women and Men | Statement at Working Session 14 of HDIM 2016

Equal opportunity for women and men in all spheres of life is critical to building resilient, democratic societies; supporting open and accountable governance; ending extreme poverty; furthering international peace and security; growing vibrant market economies; and addressing pressing health and education challenges. One of the biggest threats to reaching these goals is gender-based violence. As ...
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Freedom of Movement | Statement at Working Session 13 of HDIM 2016

In Vienna in 1989, all participating States committed to, “respect the right of everyone to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State, and to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” This right is still not fully respected in all participating States. Let me make it ...
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Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief | Statement at Working Session 12 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of religion or belief is a founding principle of the Helsinki Process. Unfortunately, a small number of participating States engage in consistent, systematic violations and abuses of the freedom of religion or belief.
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Statement at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

In establishing the Representative on Freedom of the Media in 1997, the OSCE participating States recognized that “free, independent, and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and accountable systems of government.”
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Reply to Uzbekistan regarding Response to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan | Statement to the PC

I’d like to thank our distinguished colleague from Uzbekistan for his update on recent interactions with respect to the cotton harvest and longstanding concerns about forced child labor and forced labor in the cotton harvest, and I’d also like to acknowledge his point that in this forum we should raise concerns that connect directly to ...
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Response to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan | Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes to the Permanent Council the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan, Ambassador John MacGregor. Ambassador MacGregor, we support the Project Coordinator’s priorities, including assisting the government with addressing transnational threats, promoting good governance and anti-corruption, combating trafficking in persons, strengthening the criminal justice system, promoting human rights, and gender equality. We support ...
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Concern About the Detention of Odil Kobilov in Uzbekistan: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about the detention of Mr. Odil Kobilov, a lawyer in Uzbekistan who defended Mr. Aramais Avakian, convicted on baseless charges of supporting ISIL. After defending Mr. Avakian, Mr. Kobilov, reportedly, has been imprisoned and his license to practice law was revoked.   Such politically-motivated retaliation, intended to suppress freedom of expression ...
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On the release of human rights activist Murod Juraev in Uzbekistan: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes the release of former member of parliament and human rights activist Murod Juraev after 21 years in prison. We regard Mr. Juraev’s release as a positive step and urge the Government of Uzbekistan to build on it by making it a prelude to the release of other long-held journalists, activists, and ...
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Response to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Szabó back to the Permanent Council. Ambassador, we thank you for your report and your ongoing efforts to support Uzbekistan in implementing its OSCE commitments. We appreciate your stated goal of maintaining meaningful work in all three OSCE dimensions and conducting projects in various parts of Uzbekistan. Thank you for ...
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On Uzbek Human Rights Defenders Elena Urlaeva and Azam Farmonov: Statement to the PC

The United States would like to draw attention to two human rights-related cases in Uzbekistan. The United States is deeply concerned about recent reports that respected human rights activist Elena Urlaeva was detained and subjected to an unnecessary and humiliating search by local authorities in the city of Chinaz, Uzbekistan, on May 31, 2015. While ...
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U.S. echoes ODIHR’s concerns about Uzbekistan’s presidential election: Statement to the PC

The United States echoes the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission’s concerns about Uzbekistan’s March 29 presidential elections, through which President Karimov was reelected to his fourth consecutive term. The observation mission’s report noted that the elections not only contravened the constitutional limit of two consecutive presidential terms, but were further marked by a lack of genuine ...
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Uzbekistani activist twice forced into psychiatric institution after criticizing government: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about the case of Uzbekistani human rights activist Alikul Sarymsakov. Mr. Sarymsakov attended a March 3 ODIHR event held to plan the observation of the Uzbekistani Presidential election that will occur on March 29. At the ODIHR event, he criticized the government for allowing President Karimov to run for another ...
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