jahangir_mamatov.jpgJahangir Mamatov

Jahangir Mamatov is a Senior Linguist, a Lexicographer, an Author and a well known Political Analyst of Central Asian issues. He was born on September 1, 1955 in Samarkand.  He was married in 1980, and is a father to four children. Mr. Mamatov’s spouse is also a linguist.

Mamatov graduated from the 24th high school in Samarkand district with excellent grades in 1972.

He graduated from Tashkent State University and received a Journalism degree in 1979. Mamatov pursued further graduate studies until 1981 focusing on Ethics in Journalism and Linguistics.

His career began as an editor of the “Toshkent Haqiqati” newspaper in 1973.

During 1974 until 1979 he worked as a Deputy Technical Editor-in-Chief of the “Qishloq haqiqati” newspaper.

Mamatov worked as an Editor at the State TV-Radio Company and hosted broadcasts on the agricultural issues from 1970 until 1981.

From 1981 until 1982 he worked as a Deputy Director of the “Ulughbek” state farm in the Jomboy district of Samarkand province.

He also worked for the “Lenin Yoli” (“Zarafshon”)newspaper in Samarkand province during 1982-1985.

Because of his critical articles, his house was deliberately burned on
 December of  1984.

From 1985 until 1990 he worked as a Special Correspondent of “O’zbekiston Ovozi”. At the same time, he worked as a 
Correspondent of the “Mushtum”, a satirical magazine, and the “Qishloq 
Haqiqati”, a national newspaper.

During those years more than a thousand of his
 satirical, critical, and analytical articles were published. Some of
 his articles were published in the “Youth”, reference book, “Pure Dawn”
and “525 days that Shook Samarkand”.

 His analytical articles such as “Qoran and Weapon,” “Burning Woman,”
and “Opening of the Closed Doors” regarding the actual problems of the
“Perestroyka” era.

In 1990, at the age of 35, Jahangir Mamatov received the title of
 “Honored Journalist of Uzbekistan.” During the same year he was elected as
a member to the Uzbek Parliament from the Jomboy electoral district
as well as the Vice-Chairman of the Parliament’s “Glasnost 
Committee” which he lead until 1993.

He wrote “Press Law” and
 founded the newspaper “Xalq So’zi,” the main publication of the Uzbek

On June 20th 1990, the Uzbek Parliament issued Uzbekistan’s
 Declaration of Independence.  Mr. Mamatov was one of the author’s of 
this historic document.

Jahangir Mamatov organized an investigative group in the parliament
 regarding the tragic incidents in Bekobod, Boka, Parkent and revealed
that those incidents were masterminded by the Uzbek government.

Furthermore, Mr. Mamatov came up with documents proving that
 the KGB stood behind the terror acts among the ethnic Uzbeks and
 Meskhet Turks in the Parkent district of Tashkent province.

those events Mr. Mamatov was pursued by the Uzbek government.

 The Central Committee of the Uzbek Communist Party accused Mr. Mamatov 
of criticizing the Chairman of the Party, Islam Karimov, and The Chief
 of the Supreme Court on his TV program and asked the Presidium of
 Parliament for permission to arrest him. But the attempt was rejected
 by the unity among the peoples’ deputies in Parliament.

On August 19th, 1991, as the protest against the state coup that took
place in Moscow in an attempt to exterminate the democracy which had
started to flare up in former Soviet republics he demonstrated
with some of his friends in front of the Parliament building and
 publicly burned his Party member certificate.
 When he was elected as the Chairman of the Uzbek Journalists’ Association,
 the government falsified the election results.

 The “Glasnost Committee” where he worked became the real power in the 
Parliament. This was the reason the Deputies in the Parliament supported his actions.

However, President Karimov closed the “Glasnost Committee, by violating many of the Parliament laws. 
Their goal was to get rid of Jahangir Mamatov. After Mamatov’s resignation this committee was re-opened.

In 1991 in the 7th session of Uzbek Parliament, Jahangir Mamatov along 
with his fellow-deputies put forward the measures before Parliament to
limit Karimov’s attempts to absolute dictatorship. Under the strict
 pressures from democratic deputies, the Uzbek government had to permit 
the organization of a committee, regulating the relations between the
 President of Uzbekistan and Parliament. Mr. Mamatov became the
 Presidential Advisor for Parliamentary Relations in that committee, 
 and subsequently was appointed as a Chief of Uzbek State
 Television – Deputy of the State Radio and Television Committee.

However,  due to Karimov administration’s attacks on human
 rights and democracy in the country, in 1992 after the bloody events
 in Tashkent city’s Student Town, he felt compelled to resign his
position in a protest. Before his resignation from his position he
 declared that a dictatorship is reigning in Uzbekistan. It was the first
 historical event in which a high government official declared his
 resignation as a sign of a protest to the dictator Karimov.

He continued to lead a group of oppositionist representatives in the
 Uzbek parliament, who strongly and openly criticized the emerging
 Karimov’s dictatorship, and who persisted in fighting for democracy.

Mamatov quickly emerged among the most prominent critics of the
 Karimov regime’s state policy.

He was the organizer of the March 28.
1992, Uzbek Democratic Coalition Forum that took place in the building
 of the “Erk” (“Freediom) Democratic Party, 
main party of the democratic political opposition in the country.

After that, Jahangir Mamatov led “Turon”, a non-governmental organization. Even though, this organization could be shut down by
 only Supreme Court’s decision, the Ministry of Justice violating the
laws stopped the function of the “Turon”. The belongings
 of the organization were confiscated.

Jahangir Mamatov wrote the book “Games of the Palace” about Karimov’s illegal
actions. Even though, the government confiscated the manuscript of the 
book, the copies became very popular and it was published in the
 newspaper of the “ERK” Democratic Party in 1994.

On February 7, 1993 the Uzbek government banned the newspaper “Erk”
 an affiliate of the “Erk” Democratic party. At the time, Mr. Mamatov was the Chief Editor of the newspaper as well as the 
Deputy Chairman of the “Erk” Democratic Party.

January 6th, 1993. He survived an assassination attempt committed near
the building of the “Erk” Democratic Party. The next day, in the Russian 
newspaper “Izvestiya”, a journalist by the name of Lebedeva wrote that
 the attack was organized by the Uzbek Government.

On February 13, 1993, the Uzbek government, using the police, forcibly
 evicted him and his family from their house in Tashkent, and the house
 was seized by the government. He was forced to move to his hometown

Speaking for and believing in freedom now became his only
 goals in life. He was charged with criticizing the President Karimov in
the Parliament for his dictatorial behavior.

During March of 1993, he went to Azerbaijan to participate in the Turkish
 World Conference as a representative from the” Erk” Democratic Party.
 The conference continued in Turkey, where he announced the range of
 statements about the emerging dictatorship and oppression of
 democratic opposition in Uzbekistan. Upon his return from Turkey, on
 April 17th, 1993 he was arrested in Samarkand by the Uzbek authorities.

Being afraid of Jahangir Mamatov’s public popularity the Uzbek
 government designated high level officials of the government such as 
General Attorney Boritosh Mustafoyev, Minister of Justice Alisher
 Mardiyev, Internal Affairs minister Zakir Almatov and Samarkand
 Province Governor Polat Abdurahmonov to carry out the arrest of Jahangir Mamatov, his family members
 and his friends.

Many of Mr. Mamatov’s friends that worked in high
 government offices were forced to resign, and Mamatov him self was
 stripped of his Deputy position in the Parliament.

 With the helpfrom his supporters he escaped jail. His  wife was
   forced to renounce  her marriage to him and had to announce it
publicly. She refuzed the government officials and was sentenced to two years in prison.

During 1993 and 1994 Mr. Mamatov lived in Azerbaijan,
 Turkmenistan and Georgia encountering a lot of hardships. He worked as 
a Chief Editor of newspaper of “ERK” for free. At the same time he
 assisted in publishing the Birlik movement’s “Harakat” magazine 

 After rescuing his family out of Uzbekistan, he moved to Istanbul, Turkey and
 during 1994-1998 worked in Koch University, , BBC Uzbek Service and
 newspaper “Turkiye”.

While living abroad he wrote the trilogy “Quvg’in” (“Exile”), which revealed the real face of Karimov and his brutal regime. This 
book writing style reached audience of different ages, races and economical backgrounds in Uzbekistan. 
The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan under pressure from the Uzbek National
 Security Service (successor of former the KGB), accused Mamatov of
 leaving the country illegally, insulting the President of Uzbekistan,
 publishing illegalized newspaper of “Erk” Democratic Party, and
  launching a criminal investigation for his arrest in 1995.

Mr. Mamatov
 was also accused of attempting to overturn the constitutional
 government of Uzbekistan.

 After that event, the Uzbek regime attempted to eliminate Mr. Mamatov
 Turkey and he was
 granted political asylum from the United States through the United Nations in
 February of 1998.

Jahangir Mamatov resumed his career as an
 outstanding journalist in the United States, and he worked in the VOA
 Uzbek Service from 1999 to 2004.  Due to his critical reports the Uzbek government ordered the arrest of Mamatov’s relatives and his sisters. With pressure by US Congress, US Government, and International Human Rights Organizations, Mamatov’s relatives were released.

In 2005 Mamatov brought together leaders of the Uzbek democratic opposition who had been unable to effectively coordinate their activities over the past 15 years. A Congress of Democratic Uzbekistan (CDU), open to all democratic opposition groups and individuals, convened on September 25, 2005, of which Mamatov was the Chairman until 2009.

Mamatov also taught Uzbek in language schools and since 2001 has been working as a senior linguist at the Language Research Center (LRC).

Jahangir Mamatov is the author of nearly 40 books. Many of his books were published in the United States, Turkey and Azerbaijan, yet his books are strictly forbidden in his homeland Uzbekistan.

The sources:

1. www.
2.  “IAK” (memoir)
3.Ahmadjon Muxtorov: “So’z mulki Jahongirligiga da’vogar“,(Ahmadjon Muktorov, chairman of Uzbek Jounalist Association, published “Nominee for Conqueror of Words” article in 1991)
4. Yodgor Obid: “Otash qalb uchqunlari“( Yodgor Obid wrote introduction to Mamatov’s book)
5. Gulchehra Nurullayeva: Munosabat, June 11, 2004 (the article of famous Uzbek poetesses “Reactions”)
6. Abdurahim Polatov, the leader of “Birlik” popular movement, preface for Jahangir Mamatov’s book, “Nur yo’li
7. “Birlik”: “Ozodlikning olovli yo’llari“( An article from the “Birlik” website)
8. Certificate of peoples’ deputy
9. Certificate of “ERK” democratic party
10. Certificate of President Office
11. VOA documents
12. Best journalist of the year. Award. VOA-“Tun in”, December, 2000, vol.4 No.6 page 6
13. Article about the political course of an American government-May 30, 2001 (“Repression in Uzbekistan“, BBG-IBB-VOA-editorial=0-09287 5/30/2001)
14. Article about the political course of an American government-May 30, 2001 (“Repression in Uzbekistan continues”, BBG-IBB-VOA-editorial=0-09394 8/21/2001)
15. Awards for articles about human rights: 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004
16. Nasratulla Laheb, “Interviews by Jahangir Muhammad” 2001
17. BBC: “Exiled writers“, BBC, 2003
18. “Confessions of General“, BBC, May 18, 2001.
19. Muhammad Solih, Leader of “ERK” party, “Xalq Irodasi”, “O’zbekistan adabiyoti va san’ati”, June 29, 1990. (an article in “O’zbekistan adabiyoti va san’ati” newspaper.)
20. Rasim Ekshi, Turkish author, “Dr. Boymirza hayit armug’oni”,(an article about Jahangir Mamatov in “Dr. Boymirza hayit armug’oni” book)
Istanbul, 1999, ISBN 975-78-15-3
21.Arslan Tekin, Turkish author, “Bir Turon Yo’lchisi”, Istanbul, 1996, ISBN 975-7893-11-0 (preface for Jahangir Mamatov’s book)
22. Abduvali Vohidov, “Zagovorshiki”, Newspaper “Trud”, May 19, 1995. (An article from Russian newspaper “Trud”)
23. Zaynutdinov, Kh. A. The chief of National Security Service investigative department, “Ayblov fikri”, September 12, 1994.
24. The decision of Uzbek Supreme Court, 2000.
25.Statement by Zayniddin Askarov

Books by Jahangir Mamatov:

Uzbek books by Jahangir Mamatov: