This chapter provides a brief historical background and a description of major events in Uzbekistan. It also provides basic political, economic, and social data arranged in the following categories: polity, economy, population, purchasing power parities, life expectancy, ethnic groups, capital, political rights, civil liberties, and status. The chapter discusses the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in Uzbekistan. Citizens of Uzbekistan cannot change their government democratically. President Islam Karimov and the executive branch dominate the legislature and judiciary, and the government severely represses all political opposition. The Uzbek government blamed a series of deadly car bombings in Tashkent in February 1999 on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which seeks the violent overthrow of Uzbekistan's secular government and its replacement with an Islamic state. Uzbekistan's relations with its Central Asian neighbors remained strained throughout the year over various economic and political issues.