As Jihadi Trial Ends, Kazakhstan Blurs Lines Between Opposition and Extremism

by Joanna Lillis Three men in Kazakhstan have received long prison sentences on terrorism charges at the end of an ill-tempered trial that supporters of the accused say was unjust and politically motivated.

Kazakhstan: Space for Civil Society Shrinking?

by Joanna Lillis First, there was a media report hinting at shadowy links between foreign-funded charities and terrorism in Kazakhstan. Then, the taxman came knocking. The tax inspections served as a prelude to legal action against two non-governmental organizations (NGOs)… Continue Reading  

The Life and Legacy of Islam Karimov

by Joanna Lillis Following days of uncertainty surrounding the fate of the septuagenarian strongman who ruled Uzbekistan for more than a quarter of a century, the suspense is over: Islam Karimov is dead. Uzbekistan’s government confirmed his death on September… Continue Reading  

Uzbekistan: President Karimov’s Illness Forces Decision on Succession

by Joanna Lillis Only a few crumbs of information have been provided so far about the state of health of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov. The biggest bombshell was dropped on Instagram by Karimov’s daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, who revealed on August… Continue Reading  

Kazakhstan: Astana Registers Diplomatic Boost with Iran Nuclear Talks

by Joanna Lillis When Iranian officials sit down at the negotiating table in Almaty with representatives from six international powers, Kazakhstan will gain kudos that will burnish its international diplomatic image and raise the prestige of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The event may… Continue Reading