A trial for 22 people arrested on a range of charges during the July street protests in Karakalpakstan following the decision to downgrade the region’s autonomous status began on 28 November in Bukhara. The investigation was largely closed, and the announcement of the charges and trial was the first official news regarding the 516 arrested since early July. All but one defendant are private citizens, raising concerns among human rights watchdogs that the role of the security services in the events that led to 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries will go un-investigated.
A year after they were blocked for unclear reasons and amid public disagreement over the decision, the social networks Twitter, VKontakte, and WeChat were unblocked in Uzbekistan. The impetus for the block was the ostensible failure to store all user data locally, but analysts and critics argued it was an attempt to censor and limit public debate.