Political Exiles (2014-)

Welcome to the Central Asian Political Exiles (CAPE) database. You can:

Open Society FoundationsFunding

The CAPE project is supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.

Team

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 several postgraduate students at the University of Exeter.  In 2017/18, these are Ayesha Kenan, Nathan Sutton and Liz Talbott.

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 present times.

Since the launch of the database, it has been widely both by researchers and policy makers.

Publications

Research 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

Let us know if you have used the database, and if you have any feedback: email us or tweet @CentralAsiaNet.

Criteria and methodology

Separate articles specify the parameters and definitions used, as well as the ethics and methodology that guides the CAPE database.

Maintenance

Learn how it is kept up-to-date, by regular review and revision, and the criteria for adding or removing names.

Partner organisations

We cooperate with the following organizations in data sharing and/or joint advocacy initiatives:

Click to go to CAPE

News items

Political Exiles and Transnational Repression, Chatham House, 20 June

Political Exiles and Transnational Repression in Central Asia and Beyond This workshop at Chatham House will include academics, activists, lawyers and exiles themselves.  We are delighted to say that Muhiddin Kabiri , leader of the banned Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan, will be able to join us via video connection. Wednesday 20 June, 2018 9:30-11:00: Session […]

Political Exiles, Transnational Repression and Global Authoritarianism in Eurasia and Beyond

Monday, May 7, 2018 The Harriman Institute at Columbia University Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies 1512 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St, 15th floor) Please join us for a workshop bringing together academics, journalists, and human rights activists for three thematic panels. This event is supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation […]

Tajikistan’s Repression Beyond Borders: the case of Namunjon Sharipov

By Ayesha Kenan, Nathan Sutton and Saipira Furstenberg

On the 20th of February, Namunjon Sharipov, a senior leader of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) was forcefully returned from Turkey to Tajikistan. Namunjon Sharipov, a senior leader of the IRPT, fled Tajikistan to Turkey in August 2015. In Turkey, Sharipov opened a Tajik teahouse and worked as a businessman. Prior to the […]

Tajikistan’s transnational repressions in the age of global authoritarianism: Findings from the Central Asia Political Exile Database (CAPE) project

Introduction Apparently distant and closed authoritarian regimes are increasingly enmeshed and integrated in the processes of globalisation. It is widely assumed that such globalisation undermines authoritarian rule. The advancement in communication technologies, information and international financial transaction facilitated the rise and empowerment of diaspora capable of instigating social change in the home country. It further […]

Central Asian Political Exiles database launched

The Central Asian Political Exiles database (CAPE) is now live. The database includes exiles and political refugees from five Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). Four types of exiles are includes (Former regime insiders, Secular oppositionists, Religious exiles and alleged extremists, Journalists and civil society activists). The extra-territorial security measures taken against them […]