Uzbekistan: Homeless Swept Out of Capital in Preparation for Independence Anniversary
In preparation for the 20th anniversary of Uzbekistan's independence, to be celebrated September 1, authorities have been furiously cleaning out any "undesirables" from the capital of Tashkent. Months ago, under the rubric of urban renewal, more than a thousand small businesses were destroyed, reportedly without compensation, and numerous people have lost their homes, EurasiaNet reported. Police are also capturing and destroying stray cats and dogs.
Earlier this month, according to a report from the BBC's Uzbekistan Service, police began rounding up homeless people and expelling them from the city in a propagandistic effort to make the capital look pristine. The need for high security is also invoked, although as the independent news site uznews.net reports, some homeless have been around for years and cared for by shelters or local residents.
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