President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed to abandon the amendments to the constitution, which deprived the country's largest province of Karakalpakstan of sovereignty and ruled out the possibility of secession from the republic. This is reported by Knews with reference to the press service. Protests broke out over the draft constitutional amendments in Karakalpakstan: Mirziyoyev announced his decision when he arrived in the capital of the republic, Nukus, where the main rallies were held.
“Given that the process of discussing amendments and additions to the constitution is still ongoing, and also on the basis of studying the opinions expressed by the residents of Karakalpakstan, the President outlined the need to maintain unchanged the current versions of Articles 70, 71, 72, 74, 75 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan,” stated in the press office.
In Nukus, Mirziyoyev holds meetings with deputies of the local parliament, Jokargy Kenes, as well as representatives of the older generation and activists of Karakalpakstan.
Ruslan Myakiev, editor-in-chief of TurkmenNews, told The Insider that on June 25, immediately after the publication of the draft amendments, this caused “misunderstanding and quiet protest” among the residents of Karakalpakstan, and on July 1, after the arrest by unknown persons of one of the leaders of the protest, lawyer Dauletmurat Tazhimuratov, the protests turned into an active phase.
“He went to the parliament of the republic, where he notified the authorities that on July 5 <when the issue of adopting the amendments will be decided - The Insider> he was going to hold a peaceful popular protest against the amendments,” Myatiev said.
After that, he went to the mosque and then went home. Already from home, he began to send voice messages to his Telegram channel stating that “everything is all right with him.” “And then he sent a message, where he said in a trembling voice that the top leadership of the National Security Service (NSS – The Insider) of Uzbekistan had contacted him and demanded that he ‘stop all this’. He was threatened that he was a bribe taker: they allegedly have a video where he takes bribes. They also allegedly have a video of him having sex with men, which is illegal in Uzbekistan. He was also told that they would bring up the old cases of his father - what was meant by this is unknown, ”says Myatiev.
Half an hour after the publication of this message, his sister began to send voice messages to the channel. She could not find her brother in his house, "but she saw broken windows." She also found "traces of blood." “All those living in the house were taken away by unknown people in a tinted bus – presumably, it is in the SNB detention center,” Myatiev retold the message of the activist’s sister.
After that, people began to flock to Tazhimuratov's house. “They saw everything with their own eyes and slowly began to fill the squares and block the roads. OMON officers with shields and batons began to arrive in Nukus. It is not clear if they have firearms. According to the latest reports, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev flew from Tashkent to Nukus,” Myatiev said.
“There is an opinion that the Uzbek authorities <by their decision to deprive Karakalpakstan of autonomy - The Insider> want to prevent even a hint of the events that are happening now in Ukraine. This time. Secondly, following the example of Russian constitutional amendments, they wanted to reset Mirziyoyev’s term and solve this problem forever. Because the population of Karakalpakstan has always felt independent. My sources say that the majority of the people want to secede from Uzbekistan - they want to solve this problem with amendments, ”says Myatiev.