Tashkent [Uzbekistan], July 5 (ANI): 18 people were killed and 243 injured during the last week's protest in Uzbekistan's autonomous province of Karakalpakstan.
The protest erupted after the Uzbekistan government made the constitutional changes affecting Karakalpakstan's status and which poses the challenge yet to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's rule since he came to power in 2016 after Islam Karimov died, Al Jazeera reported.
Mirziyoyev on Saturday dropped plans to amend articles of the constitution concerning Karakalpakstan's autonomy and its right to secede, a day after protesters tried to seize local government buildings in the worst bout of violence in nearly 20 years.
"In [the administrative centre] Nukus, 18 people died as a result of serious injuries received during massive disorders," Abror Mamatov, an official from the state prosecutor's office, said as quoted by Al Jazeera.
According to the publication, 516 people were detained while dispersing the protesters last Friday but have now been released many of them, the national guard press office told a briefing.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the President declared, a month-long state of emergency in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
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 thatKarakalpakstan 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)