Historical PerspectiveGeographic RoleGovernment PerspectiveEconomic Impact Conclusions
Government Perspective
Registered Pro-Government Parties
People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (PDPU)
Homeland Progress Party (HPP)
Social-Democratic Part of Uzbekistan
National Rebirth Democratic Party
National Unity Social Movement
Unregistered Parties
Birlik Popular Unity Movement
Erk (Freedom) Party
Islamic Rebirth Party (IRP)
Party of the Liberation
The government of Uzbekistan has played a very large part in the shaping of this conflict. Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimov is the prime government of Uzbekistan since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it is this leadership that has brought the government to where it is today.

According to Human Rights Watch Present Islam Karimov has continued a campaign against devout Muslims practicing their religion outside of state controls. The government of Uzbekistan is very alert to possible attacks on their government from terrorist organizations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). This radical organization has links to al-Qaeda and has waged a campaign of terrorism and violence against Karimov’s regime. By placing people suspected of terrorist activies under arrest they help to protect their people and country. According to Karimov he has imprisoned more than 7,000 people that were or potentially were IMU supporters. Victims of this government crackdown have included members of secular opposition, human rights activists, and thousands of devout Muslims and members of Islamist political groups.

These controls are set in place in place in order to help better protect the people of Uzbekistan against possible terrorist activity in their country. In the country of Uzbekistan there is much concern in the government over opposing forces taking over. This sense of worry has caused the Uzbekistan government to have some of the highest amounts of security of any country in the region. A fair amount of all money brought in to the government goes towards this security towards protecting the government from opposition.

Besides just the IMU though, there are many other unregistered groups in Uzbekistan trying to change their government such as the Birlik Popular Unity Movement, Erk (Freedom) Party, Islamic Rebirth Party (IRP), and Party of the Liberation. Because of laws against parties opposing the government though, these groups stay unregistered and cannot participate in elections. Even the elections though can be seen as skewed though. President Karimov claimed support of 91.9 percent of the electorate in Soviet-style presidential elections in Janaruy 2000 which included a vote from his so-called opponent. The U.S. government at this time called the election “neither free nor fair.” People belonging to these un-registered groups can obviously not participate in these elections, and even still would most likely not win.

These opposition groups are strongly opposed to the current government in Uzbekistan, with much of the concern relating to the treatment of Muslims and human rights advocates inside the country. Karimov insists there is freedom of religion in Uzbekistan and that he is Muslim as well, but shows no sign of relaxing his guard against Islamic fundamentalist groups he sees as a major threat. It is a crime in Uzbekistan to participate in unregistered religious activity. State authorities have punished independent Muslims with discriminatory arrest, incommuniacado detention, torture, and prison sentences up to twenty years for violating laws concerning religion and “anti-constitutional activity.” The Uzbek government also has tight control over the media in their country. Only two newspapers are not government owned, and even those require article approval from the Committee for the Control of State Secrets. While most of Uzbekistan lacks Internet access, the Uzbek government still placed restrictions on its use and aimed to get all Internet service running through government servers in 2000 to allow for the government to monitor citizens and filter out “unacceptable content.”

Police practice of planting narcotics and small numbers of bullets on attentive Muslim detainees has changed to police planting banned religious leaflets on independent Muslims and charging them with opposing the constitution and participating in unregistered religious activities. Police have also been found to discourage women seeking divorce from abusive husbands, as well torturing “criminals” by beatings, electric shock, temporary suffocation, wrist and ankle hanging, fingernail removal, punctures with sharp objects.

Western human rights groups have mostly recognized that Karimov’s crackdown has only created anger among his people, and generally generated more recruits for the IMU and other Islamist groups. The current relationship between the United States and Uzbekistan is not considered to be extremely controversial either though, as the IMU has been recognized as an international terrorist organization by George W. Bush and his war on terror. In working to eliminate the threat of the IMU, Uzbekistan is showing the world it does not tolerate terrorists in their country.