To discuss human rights in Central Asia without resorting to stereotype is a difficult prospect. The area's strategic value is unquestioned. Energy rich, at the nexus of Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan, quite literally the heartland of the continent, Central Asia remains vitally important to every great power on the planet. That very importance has led some to turn the region's human rights record into a vehicle for promoting their own interests -- distorting reality in the process. While it would be impossible for any Western country to approach Central Asia without taking heed of its many human rights issues, the human rights picture varies from country to country.
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