A contagion effect in Central Asia

Kazakhstan was the first state in Central Asia which changed the status of the OSCE Centre. Kyrgyzstan followed this example in the June 2017. It was an example of contagion. The next country was Tajikistan. On the 1st July 2017 Tajikistan as the third country in Central Asia changed the status of the OSCE Centre into the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe. Just as in case of Kyrgyzstan it was a reaction of Tajikistan after the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, which took place in September 2016 in Warsaw, where the Tajik delegation cancelled its participation at the Meeting because of the participation at the OSCE HDIM of persons perpetrated crimes and who are in the international wanted list. One of the consequences of this decision is the closure of the OSCE field offices in Tajikistan. In sum, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan have downgraded the OSCE Status in their countries.

An another ‘surprising’ development is perhaps to observed in Uzbekistan, which will be the host of the 19th Central Asia media conference named “Open Journalism in Central Asia” organised by the office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in Tashkent in October 2017. But the questions whether Uzbekistan authorities becoming more open, or it is just a game designed to demonstrate the “reformist” nature of the new president and his team, whether Uzbekistan  will open the OSCE Centre in Tashkent which was closed in 2006 remain unanswered.

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