Uzbek President Criticizes Prosecutors, Vows Tighter Control Over Their Work

TASHKENT -- Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyaev has harshly criticized the country's prosecutors, calling on them to treat ordinary citizens and entrepreneurs properly.

At the meeting with Uzbekistan's prosecutors on January 7 -- a day before Prosecutors Day -- Mirziyaev called on the prosecutors to "get rid of" the Soviet-era "image of a punitive officials" and to become "defenders" of citizens' rights and interests.

Mirziyaev also said that all prosecutors will be evaluated by a system under which each prosecutor will be rated on a regular basis by local officials and citizens.

Mirziyaev was elected Uzbekistan's president on December 4. He had been serving as interim president since the death of President Islam Karimov was announced in early September.

Mirziyaev has since taken steps to open up the tightly controlled country in a bid to improve its economic prospects and to boost communication between authorities and citizens.

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