Researchers at Risk in Central Asia: the Detention of Alexander Sodiqov
A Global Discussion
27 June 2014
University of Exeter, UK
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
University of Toronto, Canada
George Washington University, USA
Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (23 June)
American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan (26 June)
EHESS (The School of Higher Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris, France (30 June)
University of Heidelberg, Germany (26 June)
Oriental Studies Institute, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germay (1 July)
Other locations, TBA
Since 16 June 2014 Alexander Sodiqov, a young scholar and PhD student at the University of Toronto, has been in the custody of the security services in Tajikistan. Under contract to conduct academic research for a British-funded project, Sodiqov had just started his research in Khorog, Tajikistan, when his ordeal began. The detention incommunicado of a young scholar has generated an international outcry—from students, from scholars, from universities, from human rights groups, and from foreign governments.
In this global discussion, held on the same day in at least five cities, and in other cities within a few days of one another, scholars consider not only the latest information about Sodiqov’s detention but also the broader implications for research scholars around the globe. We consider the latest news on Alexander Sodiqov’s whereabouts and condition, the situation for scholars and journalists in Tajikistan in general, and what this means for conflict resolution research in Tajikistan, on the day of the 17th anniversary of the peace agreement which ended the country’s 1992-1997 civil war.
Events will begin with a short video of Alex’s interrogation by the Security Services (which was shown on television in Tajikistan), followed by short talks by colleagues of Alexander, academics specializing on the region, and human rights activists. Time will be allowed for questions and discussion. Events will end with a call to action in the form of signing petitions, writing to the government of Tajikistan and foreign governments , and, where appropriate, launching protests outside Tajik embassies overseas.
Principal speakers and organizers
University of Exeter, UK: Dr Jason Reifler (University of Exeter),
SOAS, University of London, UK: Dr. John Heathershaw (University of Exeter), Professor Jonathan Goodhand (SOAS), Saule Mukametrakhimova (IWPR), Representative from Amnesty International (tbc)
University of Toronto, Canada; Prof. Edward Schatz (University of Toronto)
George Washington University: Dr. Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University), Prof. Eric McGlinchey (George Mason University)
Nazarbayev University: Dr Alima Bissenova, Dr Duishonkul Shamatov, Dr Beatrice Penati (all Nazarbayev University)
American University of Central Asia, Bishkek: Dr Emil Juraev (AUCA), Dr Svetlana Jacquesson (AUCA)
Australian National University: Dr Kiril Nourzhanov (ANU)
EHESS (The School of Higher Studies in the Social Sciences), Paris, France: Prof. Stephane Dudoignon, Dr Adrien Fauve(Sciences Po), Prof. Anne Le Huerou (University of West Paris in Nanterre)
University of Heidelberg: Prof. Tanja Penter, Dr. Sophie Roche.
Oriental Studies Institute, Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germay (1 July): Dr Tim Epkenhans (Freiburg)