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The Next Arms Race?

October 15, 2009

An arms race may be fermenting in Central Asia. The region’s ethnic diversity coupled with its fierce nationalism is providing fertile ground for competitive militarization. Weapon purchases are on the rise and standing armies are being bolstered. Take for example Kyrgyzstan. Last December the Kyrgyz government passed a singularly aggressive draft bill. According to First Lieutenant Ivan Mikhailov the measure is expected to bolster the current 12,500 troops with an additional 6,000 in the mobile reserve and 20,000 in the alternative service this year alone. The active call up began October 1st and is obligatory for all Kyrgyz men 18 and over.

Uzbekistan: Conscientious objection only for some registered religions

During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council, Uzbekistan insisted that conscientious objection will only be recognised for "members of registered religious organizations, the faith of which prevent the use of weapons and service in the armed forces".

Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Uzbekistan. Addendum: Views on conclusions and/or recommendations, voluntary commitments and replies presented by the State under review



Recommendation 11

17. According to the article 22, paragraph 1, page 1 of the Law “On general military duty and military service” recruits are released from military duty and military service in a mobilization invocatory reserve during the peacetime:

(a) If recognized unfit for military service due to health problems;
(b) If one of near relatives (brother, sister) has died during the military service;
(c) If he/she has a holy order in one of the registered religious organizations.

Unbekanntes Menschenrecht: Kriegsdienstverweigerung im Kaukasus und in Zentralasien

In keinem Land im Kaukasus oder in Zentralasien ist es bisher möglich, sich frei zwischen Militär- und Zivildienst zu entscheiden.

Meistens besteht noch nicht einmal die Option eines alternativen Dienstes. Die wenigen Staaten, in denen ein entsprechendes Gesetz verabschiedet wurde, haben es keineswegs nach internationalen Standards umgesetzt. So gibt es in Georgien faktisch gar keinen Ersatzdienst, in Kirgisistan und Usbekistan sind hohe Bestechungsgelder nötig, um ihn ableisten zu können.

Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Uzbekistan

26 April 2001


24. The Committee is very concerned about provisions of the Freedom of Conscience and Religion Organizations Act that require religious organizations and associations to be registered to be entitled to manifest their religion and beliefs. The Committee is also concerned about article 240 of the Penal Code, which penalizes the failure of leaders of religious organizations to register their statutes.



1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription is enshrined in art. 51 of the 1994 Constitution, which states: "The defence of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the duty of every citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan. All citizens are obliged to perform military service or alternative service in the way as detailed in law."

Its legal basis is the 1992 Law on Defence. [4]

military service

All men between the ages of 18 and 27 are liable for military service.

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