Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, Uzbekistan continues to maintain rigid economic controls, which often repel foreign investors. The policy of gradual, strictly controlled transition has nevertheless produced beneficial results in the form of economic recovery after 1995. Uzbekistan's domestic policies of human rights and individual freedoms are often criticized by international organizations.
Male homosexuality is illegal in Uzbekistan. Punishment ranges from a fine to 3 years in prison. An openly gay journalist, was found guilty of sodomy (August 2003) and sentenced to more than five years in prison in a closed trial that highlighted concerns about media freedoms and pressure against homosexuals. Uzbekistan's penal code, which dates back to the former Soviet Union and was enacted into law under Stalin, outlaws homosexual sex. The journalist's sentence was reduced to 2 years community service (600 km from the capital). After international protests, he was given asylum by the United States on October 21st 2004 and left Uzbekistan quickly.
News & Reports:
- Secrets and Suspicion in Uzbekistan, 2016/Sep/01
- In Uzbekistan, transgender man breaks barriers with transparent transition, 2016/Mar/17
- May Day in Uzbekistan: Once a popular holiday, 2014/May/01
- Interview: Lack Of Data On Gay Men Impedes HIV Fight In Central Asia, 2013/May/06
- Gay Uzbekistan News & Reports, 2009/Jan/01