Jahangir Mamatov is a Senior Linguist, a Lexicographer, an Author and a well known Political Analyst on 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 Parliament.
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.
After 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 17th, 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.
Mr. 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 Samarkand.
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 voluntarily. 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 in Turkey. He faced strict pressure from Turkish government and he was granted political asylum from the United States through the United Nations in February of 1998, and he was then granted a US citizenship.
The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan made the decision that led to the arrest of Mr. Mamatov’s relatives and his sisters in May of 2001.
Many of his books have been published. He resumed his career as an outstanding journalist in the United States, and he worked in the VOA Uzbek Service from 1999 until 2004. He also taught Uzbek in US language schools, and since 2001 has been working as a Senior Linguist at the Language Research Center.
During 2005 until 2009, Mr. Mamatov chaired the non-profit organization, The Congress of Democratic Uzbekistan.
Jahangir Mamatov wrote of nearly 40 books under his pen name, Jahongir Muhammad. Some of his books were published in the United States, Turkey and Azerbaijan. His books are currently forbidden in Uzbekistan.
1. www. jahonnoma.com
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:
- Comprehensive Uzbek-English Dictionary
- Tajik-English Dictionary
- Dictionary of Central Asian Islamic Terms
- Uzbek Islamic Debates
- The Dark Days
Uzbek books by Jahangir Mamatov:
- 2.Karimovning kashfiyotlari
- 3.O’zbeklar va o’zbeklar
- 4.Oqsaroy sirlari
- 5.Zehniyat jumbog’i
- 6.Qatag’on (2005. Savol-Javob)
- 7.2006 yil (Savol-Javoblar)
- 8.Hayqiriq (2007. Savol-Javob)
- 9.Tarixni titratgan kunlar
- 10.QUVG’IN-1 kitob
- 14.220 latifa
- 15.Ankabut (Siyosiy latifalar)
- 16.Kulmagan elning baxti kulmaydi
- 17.Aldarko’sa taxtga minganda
- 18.Karimovning 100 kuni
- 19.Ozodlikning olovli yo’li
- 21.Shehidlar Hiyabani
- 22. Islom lashkarlari
- 24.Turonzamin faryodlari
- 25.Yaqin moziy
- 26.Siam egizaklari
- 27. Panjaralar
- 28. Ikkinchi front
- 29.Samarqandni sog’inib
- 30.Vatan mansiz…
- 32.Havzi qulqulum