Uzbekistan is one of the world's most brutal dictatorships. The government of Islam Karimov regularly uses torture and violence against its opponents, both perceived and imagined. Plainclothes security officers roam the streets, people are afraid to speak out, access to information is severely limited (Uzbekistan regularly refuses to grant journalists visas).


That's why reports like this one are so important. In a 25 minute report for al Jazeera's People and Power program, journalist Simon Ostrovsky explores the use of torture in Uzbekistan by following a group of Uzbek women who are trying to prevent their husbands from being deported from neighboring Kazakhstan. It's heartbreaking work, and Ostrovsky gets incredible access, including to a former Uzbek security officer who has fled to the UK. Looking also into the cover-up at Andijan, when government troops massacred protestors during a 2005 uprising, the report is particularly relevant today, as protests rock oppressive regimes around the Middle East.


It really is must-see viewing.

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