uzbekistan

European Press Agency

Most people outside of Central Asia know little about the gas-rich desert nation of Turkmenistan.

The former Soviet Republic has virtually no independent media and just a handful of bookstores.  Foreign journalists and scholars are rarely granted visas to visit.

So it's no surprise that presidential elections this month in a state sometimes compared to North Korea are little more than a show staged to buttress President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at one of the world's most isolated countries and the cult of personality built around its leader. 


AP Photo

The central Asian nation of Uzbekistan is known for its spectacular mosques, vast fields of cotton and immense natural gas reserves.

It's also one of the world's most repressive police states, where the government reportedly once disposed of two political prisoners by boiling them alive.

But Uzbekistan's regime has been shaken by the death last month of President Islam Karimov - the only president the country has had since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Uzbekistan after the dictator's death.


Advocates of media freedom and human rights say conditions are getting worse under Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s authoritarian rule. The last international monitor, Human Rights Watch, was evicted last year.