Welcome to the Central Asian Political Exiles (CAPE) database. You can:
- Visit the CAPE database itself,
- Read on to learn more about the database,
- Explore some cases of exiles beyond the former Soviet space and
- Read some background on the countries covered,
- Check the parameters and definitions used,
- Find out the ethics and methodology of the CAPE database,
- Learn how it is kept up-to-date.
The CAPE project has been supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.
The CAPE project is directed by Dr John Heathershaw and Dr Saipira Furstenberg. Over the years, we have benefited from the research assistance, skills and hardwork of postgraduate students and visiting fellows at the University of Exeter. In 2019/20, this includes Samuel Hollins.
About the database
The Central Asian Political Exiles (CAPE) database at the department of Politics, University of Exeter studies the extra-territorial security measures deployed by the five Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and the human rights threats abuses and concerns faced by individuals in exile and opposition movements abroad. It was initiated in October 2014 by John Heathershaw and Alexander Cooley in partnership with David Lewis and Ed Lemon.
The dataset offers a unique analytical tool to study the dynamics of extraterritorial security measures (sometimes called ‘transnational repression’) in countries of Central Asia to target dissidents abroad, from the period of 1990 to 2018 inclusive. Since the launch of the database, it has been widely both by researchers and policy makers.
The data are collected from published legal and journalistic records, 1990–2018.
Publications which have used the CAPE database include:
- Edward Lemon, Saipira Furstenberg and John Heathershaw, ‘Tajikistan: Placing Pressure on Political Exiles by Targeting Relatives’, Foreign Policy Centre, September, 2017.
- Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw, Dictators Without Borders: power and money in Central Asia, London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017.
- John Heathershaw, Eve Bishop and Rosa Brown, ‘Practices and patterns of extraterritorial security: introducing the Central Asian Political Exiles (CAPE) database’, in Adam Hug (ed), No shelter: The harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union, London: Foreign Policy Centre, November 2016, pp.20–24.
- Edward Lemon, ‘Tajikistan: The transnationalisation of domestic struggles’, in Adam Hug (ed), No shelter: The harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union, London: Foreign Policy Centre, November 2016, pp.25–8.
Criteria and methodology
Learn how it is kept up-to-date, by regular review and revision, and the criteria for adding or removing names.
We cooperate with the following organizations in data sharing and/or joint advocacy initiatives:
- Amnesty International
- Fair Trials International
- Human Rights Center MEMORIAL
- Civic assistance committee
- Human Rights Watch
- Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA)