Uzbekistan – behind closed gates | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Uzbekistan – behind closed gates

Uzbekistan – behind closed gates

How is the human rights situation behind the closed gates of Uzbekistan, located in the crossroads of gas pipes and military supply corridors?

Time: 15 October 13:00 – 16:00 seminar, 16:20 - 18:00 movie screening.
Place: Ibsen Museum, Henrik Ibsens gate 26, Oslo

Uzbekistan is a large producer of natural resources and central in high-level security and policy discussions in Central Asia. On the other hand, the country is on the bottom of the lists when it comes to the respect of fundamental freedoms like freedom of expression, or freedom of religion or belief. Freedom House lists Uzbekistan among the 10 most repressive countries in the world. Uzbekistan has been said to be a police state with a regime that severely represses its opponents.

In Norway, the country is little known. It is difficult to access information about the situation behind the closed gates of Uzbekistan, also for case workers of the immigration authorities, who struggle with numerous asylum applications.

How is the human rights situation in the closed country that plays such a central role in world security policy? Experts on various fields will present the situation in this seminar, and a new documentary on the 2005 Andijan massacre in Uzbekistan will be screened for the first time in Norway.



  • Ann-Magrit Austenå, Secretary General, Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers.

Opening remarks.

  • Lene Wetteland, advisor and program manager Central Asia, Norwegian Helsinki

Committee (NHC). Will present NHC’s work on Uzbekistan and the general human

rights situation.

  • Tika Tsertsvadze, Europe-Central Asia Monitoring (EUCAM) programme, Brussels.

Presentation on the Uzbekistan policy of the EU.

  • Mutabar Tadjibaeva, Fiery Hearts Club, Uzbek human rights activist in exile.

Presentation of the Human rights situation in Uzbekistan, in particular Freedom of

Religion and Freedom of Expression.


  • Debate


The seminar will be held in English and Russian. Refreshments and snacks will be served in the



More about the speakers:

Ann-Magrit Austenå, Secretary General of NOAS. Previously worked as journalist and deputy Secretary-General in the Norwegian Red Cross.

Tika Tsertsvadze, programme manager/advocacy officer of Europe Central Asia Monitoring (EUCAM) programme. Previously worked on the European Parliament election campaign with the Party of European Socialists and with the Open Society Institute – Brussels.

Mutabar Tadjibaeva, a prominent Uzbek human rights activist in exile, Chair woman of the Fiery Hearts Club. Tadjibaeva was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for her criticism of the Karimov regime and subject to torture and ill-treatment in Uzbek prisons before she was released due to bad health in 2008. She received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2008 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Lene Wetteland has worked in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee as advisor and program manager on Central Asia since 2009.


Please register at: Free entrance.


Amendments to the program may occur.


The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was established in 1977, and is a Norwegian, politically independent human rights organization working to promote respect for human rights in Norway and abroad, focusing on the member states of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), For more information, visit our website :

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The Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) was established in 1984. NOAS is an independent, non-profit organisation, whose mission is to defend and promote asylum through ensuring respect and legal protection for the individual applicant. Our target is to contribute to an asylum policy and practice which are rooted in humanism, justice and international responsibilities. For more information, visit our website: . Follow us on Twitter: @NOASorg