Protests began in Karakalpakstan against amendments to the constitution of Uzbekistan, due to which the republic may lose its sovereign status

In the capital of Karakalpakstan, Nukus, rallies began against the draft amendments to the constitution of Uzbekistan, which provide for the deprivation of the republic, which occupies almost half of the country, of sovereign status and the right to secede from the state. This was reported by TurkmenNews with reference to an anonymous source.

Ruslan Myatiev, editor-in-chief of TurkmenNews, told The Insider that on June 25, immediately after the publication of the draft amendments, this caused “misunderstanding and quiet protest” among the residents of Karakalpakstan, and on July 1, after the arrest by unknown persons of one of the protest leaders, lawyer Dauletmurat Tazhimuratov, the protests turned into an active phase.

“He went to the parliament of the republic, where he notified the authorities that on July 5 <when ​​the issue of adopting the amendments will be decided - The Insider> he was going to hold a peaceful popular protest against the amendments,” Myatiev said.

After that, he went to the mosque and then went home. Already from home, he began to send voice messages to his Telegram channel stating that “everything is all right with him.” “And then he sent a message, where he said in a trembling voice that the top leadership of the National Security Service (NSS – The Insider) of Uzbekistan had contacted him and demanded that he ‘stop all this’. He was threatened that he was a bribe taker: they allegedly have a video where he takes bribes. They also allegedly have a video of him having sex with men, which is illegal in Uzbekistan. He was also told that they would bring up the old cases of his father - what was meant by this is unknown, ”says Myatiev.

Half an hour after the publication of this message, his sister began to send voice messages to the channel. She could not find her brother in his house, "but she saw broken windows." She also found "traces of blood." “All those living in the house were taken away by unknown people in a tinted bus – presumably, it is in the SNB detention center,” Myatiev retold the message of the activist’s sister.

After that, people began to flock to Tazhimuratov's house. “They saw everything with their own eyes and slowly began to fill the squares and block the roads. OMON officers with shields and batons began to arrive in Nukus. It is not clear if they have firearms. According to the latest reports, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev flew from Tashkent to Nukus,” Myatiev said.

“There is an opinion that the Uzbek authorities <by their decision to deprive Karakalpakstan of autonomy - The Insider> want to prevent even a hint of the events that are happening now in Ukraine. This time. Secondly, following the example of Russian constitutional amendments, they wanted to reset Mirziyoyev’s term and solve this problem forever. Because the population of Karakalpakstan has always felt independent. My sources say that the majority of the people want to secede from Uzbekistan - they want to solve this problem with amendments, ”says Myatiev.

According to the editor-in-chief's sources, the protesters fear a repeat of the 2005 Andijan riot control scenario, when Uzbek authorities staged a mass execution of protesters.

On June 27, communication problems began in the republic. The Hook publication reports that after the protests began in some areas of Nukus, the fixed Internet stopped working, and mobile operators answer subscribers that the problems are related to abnormal heat.

“The authorities are trying to present the matter as if the people are for these changes. But the people are against it. Telegram creates channels to coordinate the protest. Already in two cities, Chimbay and Muynak, rallies were held, people were detained. Activists and bloggers are also detained. The Internet in the republic has been working intermittently for four days. They say they have already brought in additional National Guard forces from other regions of Uzbekistan,” a local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told TurkmenNews.

Protest actions, in addition to the capital, also took place in Chimbay and Muynak. Some protesters are being detained, as are local bloggers who oppose constitutional amendments. In addition, citizens are actively calling the short number 1341, which accepts proposals for amendments to the constitution. TurkmenNews sources say that the statistics on the number of calls on the call center website are underestimated.

“If the authorities do not back down on this day, the residents of Karakalpakstan are planning to hold a major rally in the capital of the republic, the city of Nukus (bordering the Dashoguz velayat of Turkmenistan),” the newspaper writes.

Karakalpakstan is a sovereign republic located in the west of Uzbekistan. About two million people live in it, among which there are Karakalpaks, Uzbeks and Kazakhs. Two official languages ​​are recognized in the republic: Karakalpak and Uzbek. In the USSR, the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Region in 1936 became part of the Uzbek SSR. In 1990, the Supreme Council of the Karakalpak ASSR adopted a declaration of state sovereignty, and in 1993, the country's authorities signed an interstate agreement on the entry of Karakalpakstan into Uzbekistan. This treaty enshrined the right to secede from the country.

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