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  • Monday, January 31, 2005

    Uzbekistan, an "outpost of tyranny"

    Thanks to one of the commenters here at "A Logical Voice", I have been reminded to make a post about Uzbekistan, a partner in Bush's so called "war on terror". Uzbekistan has a leader called Islam Karimov, here's a useful profile.

    "I'm prepared to rip off the heads of 200 people, to sacrifice their lives, in order to save peace and calm in the republic…If my child chose such a path, I myself would rip off his head." - President Karimov reacting to acts of violence in Uzbekistan in March 1999. The government originally blamed the incidents, including a bus hijacking, on "criminals" and later on "Islamic extremists." Agence France-Presse, April 2, 1999
    Under Islam Karimov, Muslims who practice their faith outside state controlled religious institutions have been targeted in a wave of repression. Some tortured, and detained without charges or fair trials. (Does this sound familiar?)
    The first letter documents new cases of arbitrary detention, harassment and ill-treatment of Muslim dissidents. A wave of arrests followed explosions directed against police officers in Tashkent and Bukhara in late March and early April. While the government blamed the attacks on “extremists,” its response has broadly targeted “independent Muslims,” who practice their faith outside government-controlled mosques and other religious institutions. The letter also sets out concrete recommendations for tackling government abuses.
    In 2002 alone, Washington gave Uzbekistan's police and intelligence services $79 million. The US state department's website itself states that the police and intelligence services use "torture as a routine investigation technique".
    Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death.
    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

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