Events Calendar

Apr
16
Tue
2013
American and European Policies in Central Asia: Similarities and Divergence @ City View Room
Apr 16 @ 3:15 PM – 6:30 PM
American and European Policies in Central Asia: Similarities and Divergence @ City View Room
Panel 1: Debating Similarities and Divergences in European and American Policies Toward Central Asia (3:15-4:45)
Jos Boonstra, Senior Researcher, Head of EUCAM programme, FRIDE, Brussels
Alexander Cooley, Tow Professor, Barnard College, New York 
Jeff Goldstein, Senior policy analyst for Eurasia, Open Society Foundations
Sebastien Peyrouse, Research Professor, Central Asia Program, GWU
 
Panel 2: European and American Policy Priorities in Central Asia(5:00-6:30)
Patricia Flor, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, European External Action Service
Lynne Tracy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs
The seminar aims to build on the existing dialogue among experts and policy-makers from the two sides of the Atlantic, with the goal of finding pragmatic policy solutions and converging the objectives of the two actors in the region. While there is a general consensus that the objectives ofEurope and the U.S in Central Asia are similar, the methodologies in perusing those objectives differ. What are the priorities of the two actors in the run up to 2014 and beyond in the view of the value-based approach versus security constraints linked to the 2014 draw-down from Afghanistan. More information can be found at http://go.gwu.edu/EUUS.
Sep
12
Thu
2013
Looking Ahead: US-Central Eurasia Security Relations @ Voesar Conference Room
Sep 12 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Looking Ahead: US-Central Eurasia Security Relations @ Voesar Conference Room
Join the Central Asia Program, the Center for International Policy, and leading Eurasia analysts for a discussion on the current status of US-Central Eurasia security relations to mark the launch of theSecurity Assistance Monitor, an online resource of the United States’ defense and security relationships around the world.  The Security Assistance Monitor is a new, comprehensive online resource that provides information and answers questions about the US security and defense relationships around the world.  Formerly known as Just the Facts, a project which focused on US security assistance to Latin America, the Security Assistance Monitor is an expanded resource of searchable statistics, data, upcoming events,and related information on US security and defense priorities for Central Eurasia, the Middle East,and Africa. 
Mar
25
Tue
2014
Are US strategic interests in Azerbaijan at risk? @ Voesar Conference Room
Mar 25 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Are US strategic interests in Azerbaijan at risk? @ Voesar Conference Room

with Dr. Farhad Aliyev, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

The current US policy of disengagement from Southern Eurasia may have  a negative impact upon the US strategic interests in the region in the long-run, with Azerbaijan becoming more vulnerable to falling under Russia’s influence and having to manage a difficult relationship to Iran. Moreover, domestic evolutions are on their way: roll back in democratization and the influence of changes in values among the youth, especially under the influence of Turkey’s internal changes, may make the US position in the country more difficult.
Sep
16
Tue
2014
Regulating Religion in Central Asia @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412
Sep 16 @ 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Regulating Religion in Central Asia @ Voesar Conference Room, Suite 412 | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
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A Roundtable Discussion with

Catherine Cosman, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Dillorom Abdulloeva, Human Rights Lawyer and Co-Founder and President of Tashabbus

Mirakmal Niyazmatov, Lawyer and Co-Founder of Tashabbus

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Central Asian governments have incorporated their majority religions in efforts to define post-Soviet national identities. At the same time, however, they want to control growing levels of religious affiliation, especially among Muslims, that might act as potential alternative sources to state power. These dual aims are reflected in laws and policies that seek to define the legal limits of the majority religion and also to control the public expression of all religion. Common elements of Central Asian religion laws include: religious groups must undergo complex and intrusive state registration so as to gain legal status; members of unregistered religious groups face fines, police raids and possible terms of imprisonment; official permits are required to produce, import, export and distribute religious materials which can only be sold in officially-approved sites. Governments also strictly limit religious education, children’s participation in religious activities and the public wearing of religious clothing.

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Catherine Cosman will discuss Central Asian laws and policies relating to freedom of religion or belief.  Extremism laws in Central Asia, punish alleged extremist, terrorist, or revolutionary activities without also requiring acts of violence or incitement to imminent violence.  Governments use concern over Islamic extremism to justify criminal penalties against individuals who are alleged to have participated in religious organizations deemed extremist by the state.  Central Asian states usually provide scant public information on religious groups or materials banned for their alleged extremism.

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Dillorom Abdulloeva will discuss Uzbekistan’s headscarf/hijab ban in schools, universities or places of employment. The law uses unclear and confusing terminology for religious attire and for what constitutes a public place. While Uzbekistan’s Committee on Religious Affairs has officially stated that there is no religious attire in Islam, courts have sentenced women for wearing the hijab in public.  Such vague laws contribute to selective legal enforcement in Uzbekistan. Furthermore, this ban is contrary to Uzbekistan’s Constitution, and also contradicts the country’s international human rights obligations.

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Mirakmal Niyazmatov will discuss a 2014 Uzbekistan decree on religious materials. The State Committee for Religious Affairs will give its “expert conclusion” on “religious” materials and then a “relevant government body” will decide to allow or ban them. Under this decree, the government can inspect almost any literature produced and/or imported. Officials can also inspect any electronic device with data storage capacity.  This decree’s vague and expansive provisions can be abused by government officials and violate constitutional rights and Uzbekistan’s international human rights obligations.

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