Tag Archives: human rights

What Celebrities and Dictators Have in Common

Last week Jennifer Lopez performed at a birthday party for Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the dictator of Turkmenistan. For Foreign Policy, I analyze the anxiety behind the outrage that ensued: Celebrities and dictators have a lot in common. They lead lavish lifestyles … Continue reading

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How the Uzbek Government Targets Exiles Abroad

I have a new article for Al Jazeera English about how the government of Uzbekistan punishes exiles abroad by persecuting their relatives at home. Two weeks ago, Hasan Choriyev, the father of Uzbek activist Bahodir Choriyev, was unlawfully detained: It … Continue reading

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The Ethics of Military Aid to Uzbekistan

For Al Jazeera English, I take on the heated debate surrounding Western military aid to Uzbekistan: Analysts have long debated the ethical and strategic ramifications of providing Uzbekistan with military equipment – largely unidentified but allegedly non-lethal – in exchange for a transport route … Continue reading

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Central Asia’s slow internal rot

I have a new article up at Foreign Policy about Central Asia. I argue that the greatest threat to the region is not volatility, as is commonly assumed, but stagnation: The slow, tortuous decline of Central Asia is something we … Continue reading

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What’s wrong with civil society

For Foreign Policy, I write about a subject that has been bothering me for ages – the inappropriate and harmful use of the term “civil society” when discussing policy in authoritarian states. I spoke briefly about this at the Registan … Continue reading

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Threats to Online Privacy

I have a new article for Al Jazeera on threats to email privacy. (OK, it is not really that new, but I’ve been too busy arguing with the daughter of Uzbekistan’s dictator to update my website – read about it … Continue reading

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More on the Internet Governance Forum

I wrote another article about the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, this time for Radio Free Europe. I argue that it’s beneficial to hold policy forums like IGF in authoritarian states: Meetings like the IGF should be held in countries … Continue reading

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Back from Baku

I have returned from Azerbaijan, where I attended the Internet Governance Forum as part of the Freedom House delegation. As the Azerbaijani state security services can likely attest, I had an awesome time, and hopefully I will be back there … Continue reading

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My thoughts on freedom of speech

For Al Jazeera, I examine recent controversies over freedom of speech: The battle lines of free speech are often drawn over the banal. One strategy of those who seek to minimise the argument of the offended party is to scoff … Continue reading

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The homecoming of Ramil Safarov

For Al Jazeera, I write about the strange, sad case of Ramil Safarov, the Azerbaijani officer who murdered an Armenian officer at a NATO camp in Hungary in 2004, was sentenced to prison in 2006, and was extradited last week … Continue reading

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