Later in June 2021 Agzam Turgunov, human rights defender and former political prisoner, and his colleagues will submit an application to register their human rights organization for the eighth time since February 2019. The applicants have diligently addressed all concerns raised by the Ministry of Justice and have engaged a lawyer to assist them. Other independent civil society groups have also had multiple applications for registration rejected on spurious grounds.
International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) call on the Uzbekistani authorities to simplify the registration procedures for independent civil society organizations, to increase the transparency of the process, provide support and advice for citizens trying to register organisations, and welcome a constructively critical dialogue between civil society and the state as a key precondition for achieving meaningful improvement in practice of the human rights situation in the country.
Read the full statement here.
The government of Uzbekistan publicly claimed in February 2021 that there are over 10,500 civil society organizations in the country, but closer examination of these statistics reveals that the majority of them are in fact organisations that are not independent from the government.