The Uzbek Foreign Ministry announced the blocking of the Internet in Karakalpakstan due to the spread of “fake news” and “involvement of citizens in anti-constitutional activities.” About it informs Gazeta.uz.
The Foreign Ministry believes that on July 1-2, 2022, in Nukus “an attempt was made to undermine the constitutional order, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Uzbekistan.”
“Under the guise of populist slogans, spreading fake news through mobile communications and the Internet, hostile forces tried to massively involve citizens in anti-constitutional activities. This forced them to take measures to temporarily limit Internet communications,” explained in the foreign affairs department.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev declaredthat representatives of the public and activists will be involved in the investigation of the events in Nukus. He said the investigation would also assess the proportionality of the force used by government forces to crack down on the protests.
As of July 4, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, at least 18 people became victims of the riots. According to the department, all of them received serious injuries incompatible with life. In addition, during the riots another 243 people were injured, including 38 law enforcement officers, 516 protesters were detained.
According to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, 107 law enforcement officers received “serious bodily injuries” during the unrest, 23 of them are in serious condition, and a total of 270 employees of state bodies were injured.
Currently, mobile communications are fully operational in the territory of Karakalpakstan, food stores, markets, bakeries, banks, hospitals and other social facilities are functioning, the Foreign Ministry said.
“In this regard, statements regarding the lack of access to information are groundless,” the ministry stressed and called on the media and human rights organizations “to approach the events in Karakalpakstan objectively, avoiding hasty conclusions and unilateral statements based on various unreliable sources.”
Earlier, independent Uzbek media reported that with the start of protests in Karakalpakstan, the Internet was limited. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged not to restrict access to the network and stated about the need for a transparent and independent investigation of events in the region.