Uzbekistan: "Reform-Resistant Authoritarian Regime," Says Freedom House
Freedom House's latest Nations in Transit report doesn't tell any new story about Uzbekistan, but arranges the data in a compelling fashion to help us reflect on comparisons with the Arab Spring and the potential for change in this despotic Central Asian country.
A graph showing the years of entrenched leadership of the post-Soviet region is a vivid indication of the problem -- the highest bars are in Central Asia, with Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov among the longest in power (19 years), and with others showing change only by ensuring continuation of a family dynasty (Azerbaijan) or a "tandemocracy" (Russia) or changing nothing fundamental about the past dictator's legacy (Turkmenistan).
Uzbekistan has ranked at the bottom of the scale for assessment of the post-Soviet nations for years due to its harsh crackdown on political and religious dissent.
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