Tashkent [Uzbekistan], July 3 (ANI): Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev declared a month-long state of emergency on Saturday in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic in northwestern Uzbekistan.
Protests broke out earlier this week in the region over planned constitutional reform, reported Anadolu Agency.
However, President Mirziyoyev said that the legal status of autonomous Karakalpakstan will remain unchanged.
"It is necessary to leave the draft norms of the legal status of the Republic of Karakalpakstan unchanged," he said, adding that "we will definitely build a new Uzbekistan and a new Karakalpakstan together."According to the official order, the state of emergency will run from July 3 to August 2.
The decree limits entry and exit from the province and all public events are prohibited. It also introduces temporary restrictions for the protection of public order such as restricting entry of vehicles and searches on individuals, etc, reported Anadolu Agency.
Mirziyoyev visited the region's capital of Nukus, where protesters tried to storm government buildings and announced that changes relating to Karakalpakstan will remain unchanged.
Earlier, it was reported that public order was restored in Nukus. The media has reported that people gathered in the central outdoor market area and demanded the release of a local blogger who called for a protest against constitutional amendments. Protesters believe that Karakalpakstan may lose its right to secede from Uzbekistan via a referendum if amendments are adopted, reported Sputnik.
"On July 1, starting at about 15.00 (10:00 GMT), some citizens of Karakalpakstan, as a result of a misinterpretation of the constitutional reforms being carried out in the republic, ... protested in Nukus, after which they gathered on the territory of the central Dekhkan market and organized an illegal demonstration," the ministry said in a statement for media.
Law enforcement officers were deployed in the area to make sure that public order is not violated, the ministry added.
"Currently, public order has been restored ... work is underway with citizens to clarify the inadmissibility of violations of the law, as well as to consider citizens' appeals in order," the statement read. (ANI)