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Karakalpak bloggers jailed over Instagram videos about Karakalpakstan and Karakalpak language

Karakalpak bloggers were detained yesterday, one in Tashkent and the other in Karakalpakstan. Shingis Tayrov, a young Karakalpak, posted a video on Instagram questioning why street names, building descriptions, and tourist attractions in sovereign Karakalpakstan are written in Uzbek, Russian, and English but not in Karakalpak. In his video, he emphasized the importance of nations respecting and preserving their own languages as it is the main symbol of any nation. According to our information, Shingis Tayrov was detained for 15 days under the Administrative Code of Uzbekistan, though specific charges remain unclear.

In another incident in Tashkent, bloggers filmed themselves asking people on the streets questions about Karakalpakstan, such as its capital and to say a few words in Karakalpak. According to our information these two bloggers were also detained, but we currently lack details regarding their identities and the charges against them.

Previously, we reported on restrictions to freedom of speech and expression against Karakalpaks. These arrests highlight the stance of Uzbek officials on Karakalpakstan, which appears to involve the oppression of the Karakalpak people and the erasure of their national identity through the forceful imposition of the Uzbek language.

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