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Silencing youth in Karakalpakstan.

University administration uses power to limit freedom of speech.

Recently, Freedom of Eurasia received a series of videos, likely shot in June 2023, that shed light on some concerning events. The footage shows the meeting between students and a teacher, probably after information about the student’s initiative to organize a peaceful assembly on the anniversary of events that happened in July 2022. The teacher talks to the students about what’s considered good behavior and what isn’t. She shares a story about a second-year student detained for ten days because of his social media posts discussing amendments to the country’s constitution. The teacher criticizes the student’s behavior and calls it foolish, saying that it led to legal consequences and mentioning that the student was expelled. The teacher then gives another example of a student detained for leaving comments on posts about the constitutional amendments. The teacher responds threateningly to students, expressing their concern about freedom of speech and their right to express opinions. She raises her voice, saying that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and that they have orders from the management to talk to all students and their families. The university administration uses these meetings to pressure students and teachers. They want everyone to conform and not participate in any activities or discussions against the constitutional changes and the rallies in July 2022. This approach restricts students’ right to peaceful assembly and their right to enjoy freedom of speech. It’s concerning because students might face consequences like expulsion or criminal charges.

These videos show how the university uses its influence and other government bodies to control people through threats and intimidation. The university administration silenced opposing viewpoints and enforced conformity by setting strict limits on expressing opinions and participating in peaceful assemblies. This approach echoes a more significant trend of institutions using their power to maintain control and discourage dissent among the population.

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