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Repressions against Karakalpak dissidents and their families in Uzbekistan

Aman Sagidullaev is a political activist from Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic within Uzbekistan. He is the leader of the “Alga Karakalpakstan” movement, which advocates for the independence of Karakalpakstan from Uzbekistan. The movement advocates for the Karakalpakstan’s constitutional right to hold a referendum on independence according to the Consitution. Aman Sagidullaev fled Uzbekistan with his family in 2011, fearing persecution after calling for a referendum on Karakalpakstan’s independence. 

Aman Sagidullaev’s activism for Karakalpak independence has led to significant persecution for both him and his family. His brother, Jumabai Sagidullaev, faced severe repercussions due to their involvement in the independence movement. In 2014, police officers seized Jumabai’s property, leading him to flee Karakalpakstan and seek asylum in neighboring countries. Despite these challenges, Jumabai returned to Karakalpakstan in 2021 and began legal proceedings to reclaim his property and cattle, valued at approximately $200,000​. His attempts to reclaim his assets have been met with persistent bureaucratic obstacles, with authorities continuously redirecting him between different offices without resolution​. This bureaucratic ping-pong effectively prevents him from obtaining justice.

Additionally, Jumabai and other Sagidullaev’s family members have encountered significant difficulties in obtaining passports, which has further complicated his situation. Although the authorities have not outright denied their application, they have neither approved it nor provided any explanation for the delay. This indefinite withholding of their passport has restricted his ability to travel abroad, further isolating him and limiting his options for seeking redress, jobs or safety​. 

Moreover, Jumabai Sagidullaev is under constant surveillance by an officer from the State National Security Service, who monitors his movement and activities. This practice is typical in Uzbekistan, where authorities not only keep activists under strict control but also extend their surveillance to family members of those activists.

The treatment of Jumabai Sagidullaev underscores the broader issues of political repression and bureaucratic inefficiency in Uzbekistan. The government’s handling of the Sagidullaev family’s situation reflects the harsh measures taken against those advocating for Karakalpak independence and the broader struggles faced by political dissidents in the region.

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