Uzbek leaders have enhanced their arbitrary powers in recent years by eviscerating the country’s independent bar associations. A recent report prepared by Human Rights Watch details how authorities in Tashkent have turned the justice system into a mechanism to stifle dissent.
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Catherine A.Fitzpatrick is a freelance writer who covers human rights issues in Central Asia. She is the author of Eurasianet's Choihona and Sifting the Karakum blogs.