An independent online news agency, Fergananews.com is Central Asia’s leading Russian-language news website. The speed of its news coverage, the quality of its analyses and its network of correspondents have made it essential reading. They have also turned it into a prime target for the region’s authoritarian governments, especially as it takes a close interest in their many systematic human rights violations.
Also known just as “Ferghana,” it does investigative reporting on such sensitive regional issues as the use of forced labour in cotton production, water resource management and the fate of Central Asian immigrants in Russia. In a region where national, ethnic and religious identity is often exploited to fuel conflicts, it covers these issues in an impartial and responsible manner, actively promoting dialogue and tolerance.
It recently started a blog platform that is used by independent journalists and much of its content is translated into English. Its correspondents in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan take considerable risks because they have to operate clandestinely. The site has long been blocked in these two countries and has been blocked in Kazakhstan as well since 2014. It has also been filtered out from time to time in neighbouring Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan