Uzbekistan enforces state of emergency in protested Karakalpak protest news

President Mirziyoyev abandoned plans to limit Karakalpak’s autonomy after a rare public protest in the northwestern province.

Uzbekistan declares month-long state of emergency in an autonomous republic rare protest Force President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to overturn certain constitutional reforms.

President Mirziyoyev’s press secretary Sherzod Assadov wrote on Telegram Saturday that the state of emergency in the Republic of Karakalpakstan will begin just after midnight on Sunday (Saturday 19 GMT). :00) until August 2nd.

The statement added that the measure was being taken to “ensure the safety of citizens, protect their rights and freedoms (and) restore law and order in the region”.

> Uzbekistan’s president arrived in Karakalpakstan on Saturday and promised to cancel constitutional amendments that could weaken the region’s status.

Uzbekistan’s authorities said they held a rally on Friday to protest a constitutional reform plan that would change the status of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic and home to the Karakalpak people, a nation that owns its own linguistic minorities.

Police dispersed protesters after some attempted to storm the local government building in Nukus, the regional capital, following a march and rally at the city’s central market, local and government officials said.

Under Uzbekistan’s current constitution, Karakalpakstan is described as a sovereign republic within Uzbekistan with the right to withdraw by holding a referendum.

The new constitution — Uzbekistan plans to hold a public vote in the coming months — will no longer refer to Karakalpakstan’s sovereignty or secession rights.

But Mirziyoyev reacted quickly to the protests during a visit to Karakalpakstan on Saturday, his office said in a statement, saying changes about his status must be removed from the proposed reforms.

The government of Karakalpakstan said in a statement earlier Saturday that police detained the leader of Friday’s protest, as well as several other protesters who had resisted.

A joint statement issued by the republic police, parliament and cabinet said the “provocateurs” were trying to “seize state institutions…divide society and undermine the socio-political situation in Uzbekistan”.

“A group of organizers of the mass riot and those who actively resisted law enforcement agencies have been detained. Investigative action is being taken against them,” the statement said, blaming a “criminal group” for the unrest.

The changes in Karakalpakstan are part of broader constitutional reforms proposed by Mirziyoyev, which also include strengthening civil rights and extending the presidency from five to seven years.

If the reforms pass in a planned referendum, it would reset Mirziyoyev’s term and allow him to run for two more terms.

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