On July 1-2, Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan (an autonomous republic within Uzbekistan), hosted mass protests. The reason was that Uzbekistan is preparing to amend the Constitution, which will deprive Karakalpakstan of the right to secede from the state on the basis of a general referendum. According to IA "Fergana" , Article 74, which gives this right, is not in the draft of the new Constitution.
Police special forces and the National Guard used special equipment against the protesters. According to Gazeta uz , as a result of unrest in Nukus, 18 people were killed, 243 were injured, including 38 law enforcement officers. 149 people received first aid and were released home. 94 people remain in hospitals, some are seriously injured.
The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan said that the unrest occurred "as a result of a misinterpretation of constitutional reforms."
On the evening of July 2, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Nukus , who stated the following: “Taking into account the unique ethno-cultural features, national traditions and values, the special legal status of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, I consider it necessary to leave the draft norms on the legal status of the Republic of Karakalpakstan unchanged. That is, Articles 70, 71, 72 of the Constitution, Articles 74, 75 shall be left unchanged.
I ask the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis to consider this issue as soon as possible.
Dear residents of Karakalpakstan!
I repeat: it is the duty of all of us to preserve the age-old friendship and brotherhood, mutual respect and kindness, our unity, the atmosphere of peace and stability that has reigned in our country for centuries. This is the main goal of our constitutional reforms.”
From July 2 to August 2, a state of emergency was introduced in Karakalpakstan: a curfew was set at night - from 21 to 7 hours, the possibility of entry and exit from the territory of the republic was limited, mass gatherings were prohibited .
Later, on July 3, Mirziyoyev blamed some "hostile forces" for the unrest.
“Despite the conditions created for the free expression of the opinion and will of citizens on the basis of democratic principles and legal norms, some hostile forces, under the pretext of dissatisfaction with constitutional reforms, choose the path of aggression and violence and try to destabilize the situation in Uzbekistan,” Mirziyoyev said.
Meanwhile, military equipment was brought to Karakalpakstan.
On July 4, the press service of the lower house of the Uzbek parliament announced the extension of the nationwide discussion of the draft amendments to the Constitution for 10 days, until July 15.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan