Signs of instability continue to surface in Uzbekistan amid government efforts to tighten control over society in the aftermath of the Andijan events. On June 8, a protest hit a collective farm near Samarkand, as supporters of a banned political movement demanded the release of a local activist from custody.
According to a representative of the Ozod Dekhkonlar (Free Peasants) party, hundreds of farmers gathered at the Bobur State Farm near Samarkand to protest the June 5 arrest of Norboi Kholzhigitov, a local party organizer. The arrest allegedly stemmed from a dispute about the farm’s privatization process. Police reportedly cordoned off the farm, but Ozod Dekhkonlar had not received any report on the possible use of force by authorities to break up the protest. Officials in Tashkent could not corroborate the information provided by the Ozod Dekhkonlar representative. Efforts to independently verify the information were not immediately possible.
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