Coverage of Uzbekistan troubles

16 May 2005

The news of violent riots in the eastern town of Andijan in Uzbekistan has had international media outlets scrambling to find on-the-ground coverage. Many international news outlets, including the BBC, have been unable to field correspondents any closer than Tashkent, the country's capital roughly 300 miles away. The situation means there's a lag in good coverage: the most recent reports I can find are at msnbc and agence france presse. There's also a gruelling collection of photographs from the scene, hosted at muslimuzbekistan.net.

It is at times like this that the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, which is dedicated to training reporters in areas of conflict, shows what it's here for. Check here for eyewitness accounts as they come in. But the surprise sources have been the blogs, particularly registan.net, scrapsofmoscow (where you can find translations of the latest Russian reports) and thinking-east.net, run by ex-openDemocracy star Ben Paarman.

And whilst you're searching for the facts, don't forget there is still the truth to be found too. Our 2004 piece by Sabine Freizer is a good place to start.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

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