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Uzbekistan: Googoosha Connected to Rare Tashkent Protest?

In Uzbekistan, where public protest is strictly controlled, reports have emerged of picketers targeting the Swiss Embassy after the arrest of Uzbek citizens in Switzerland on suspicion of money-laundering.

Regional news site Centrasia.ru reported that the Swiss Embassy in Tashkent was picketed by a group of 10-11 people carrying placards saying “Shame on Switzerland!” on August 4. The report said the mini-demo was a protest against the detention in Geneva of two Uzbek staff members of Coca-Cola Uzbekistan, named as Aliyer Irgashev and Shahruh Sabirov (the latter was named in other sources as Farruh Saberov).

Citing “sources,” Centrasia.ru suggested the protest had been organized by a foundation run by Gulnara Karimova, eldest daughter of President Islam Karimov -- the Forum of Culture and Art of Uzbekistan (Fund Forum for short). Neither the foundation nor Coca-Cola Uzbekistan immediately responded to emails requesting comment late on August 8. 

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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.

Uzbekistan: Googoosha Connected to Rare Tashkent Protest?

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