Central Asian political exile journeys beyond the former Soviet space

The spatial dynamics of regime security beyond borders

Most Central Asian political exiles are targeted within the former Soviet space; this is both due to opportunity (the barriers of migration) and to the extensive formal and informal cooperation between post-Soviet security services, which continues more than 25 years after the end of the USSR. However, some find that they remain in a precarious position after fleeing to the West, and even after obtaining asylum. Many such exiles remain stuck at stages 1 or 2; a small but apparently increasing number find themselves subject to stage 3 actions.

Here we highlight five journeys highlighted from the database: Mukhtyar Ablyazov (Kazakhstan), Maxim Bakiyev (Kyrgyzstan), Umarali Kuvatov (Tajikistan), Nina Startseva (Turkmenistan), and Muhammad Solih (Uzbekistan). We chose these cases as illustrations rather than to make a point of advocacy regarding the rightfulness or wrongfulness of their cases.

With interactive maps we aim to enhance our understanding of the transnational journeys of exiles and the extraterritorial measures used by the authoritarian states of Central Asia to persecute their opponents abroad. Over 2018/19 we will be using this tool to produce more analysis of the database.

The maps allow the audience to visualize geographically extraterritorial stages and trace the movements of individuals targeted by their home state regime. Clicking on any of the key point will You can click on one of the key points to follow different stages of an individual’s extraterritorial targeting.

Please note that the information contained in the maps only uses publicly available sources on individual cases. Therefore, the locations used are imprecise: E.g., when only a country is known, we put the marker on its capital — this should not be interpreted as CAPE having (and accidentally sharing) unpublished information about what city was concerned. We abide by academic-ethical principles of consent, confidentiality and anonymity regarding personal data.

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