The regime in Uzbekistan has taken only a few reforms in
the direction of market economy and democracy. The social
upheavals that characterize other former Soviet states are
significantly less in Uzbekistan, although growing
unemployment, widening income gaps, increased crime,
extensive cross-border drug trafficking and more and more
social problems can be noted. Ethnic and religious
contradictions have been reported in recent years from the
Fergana Valley and southern Uzbekistan. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SKD and acronym for Uzbekistan.
Ecological disasters of enormous proportions have
affected Uzbekistan, and the health situation is critical in
many respects. In rural areas, about 20 percent of the
population does not have access to running water. Attempts
to limit water wastage in agriculture have had no effect.
Infant mortality is increasing, as is mortality. In recent
years, health care has deteriorated. Uzbekistan receives
extensive assistance from, among others, the United States.
The sanctions were renewed in May 2007 as a result of the
continuing serious human rights situation in the country.
Tashkent declared that the decision was unfounded, served
only to heighten tensions in the country and made it
difficult for cooperation projects with the EU.
Karimov ran for a 3rd term as a term in the 2007
presidential election. It was in violation of the
Constitution that only allowed 2 terms, but the regime did
not even think how he could stand for a 3rd term. He "won"
the election with 90.77% of the vote. The OSCE had 21
observers at the election, who were subsequently labeled as
"indifferent" due to the lack of election campaign and
The United States continues to have close relations with
Uzbekistan, which is considered strategically important to
the superpower's policy in Central Asia - especially in
Russia, China, Iran and Afghanistan. In January 2012, the US
embassy lifted a number of restrictions on cooperation with
Uzbekistan. This happened after Pakistan had cut off US
supplies for its occupation troops in Afghanistan. Weapon
deliveries to the country were resumed, and the United
States, in turn, was allowed to transport supplies through
the country to its troops in Afghanistan. Underlining its
closer relationship with the United States, Uzbekistan
withdrew from the Russian-led CSTO defense alliance on June
12. The EU also maintains close relations with the regime.
Torture is widespread in Uzbekistan. Freedom of the press
was severely limited and by the end of 2012, 10 of the
country's human rights activists were imprisoned. The
country has since 200 not allowed UN special human rights
reporters access to the country.
Around February 2014, President Karimov placed his eldest
daughter Gulnara in house arrest after the two, through the
previous year, had separated from each other.
In November 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council
asked Uzbekistan to implement the recommendations it had
given in 1999, 2005 and 2010 to stop the use of torture in
the country. In 2013-14, the European Court of Human Rights
issued 15 injunctions prohibiting the return of arrested
Uzbeks to their country of birth. As part of the so-called
"war on terror", returning Uzbeks are routinely put in
isolation where they are subjected to further torture.
Parliamentary elections were held in December 2014 and
January 2015. The country's Liberal Democrat party again
became the largest with 52 seats out of the 150th
parliament. The loser of the election was the former
Communist Party OXDP, which declined from 32 to 27 seats.
The nationalist OMTDP, in turn, went 5 mandates until 31.
In March 2015, Karimov was re-elected as president. This
time with 90.4% of the vote.