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  • Saturday, March 04, 2006

    "I think we're losing sight of the things that make us civilised"

    From our former ambassador's blog:

    One of the harshest lessons in the realities of totalitarian politics occurred just two weeks into Craig's deployment in Uzbekistan. ``There were two guys in Jaslyk Gulag, which was a notorious prison in the middle of the desert. No roads lead into it, you need a four-wheel-drive to get there.

    ``They were boiled to death and the body of one of them was delivered to his mother in a sealed casket. The mother was instructed to bury the body the next day and not to open the casket. They sent a guard to ensure this happened. ``But the guard fell asleep during the night and she sneaked past him and got the body out on the kitchen table. She took a lot of very detailed pictures.''

    The pictures taken by this brave woman made their way to Craig's hands and he sent them to the pathology lab at Glasgow University. ``Their report showed the guy's fingernails had been ripped out and he was beaten about the face.

    ``He died from immersion in boiling liquid. They said you could tell because of the tide mark on his chest.''

    Matters escalated after another horrific act by Karimov's regime, this time closer to home.

    ``There was a lady who lived opposite me. Our homes are separated by a narrow lane. She was beaten up in the lane itself by Government militia. They broke her legs then they poured paint in her mouth-all because they said she was a dissident. She was a woman in her 50s, for God's sake! And a friend of mine.''

    This tale, horrible as it might seem to us, is a standard event in Uzbekistan. ``It's estimated the Government has at least 10,000 political and religious prisoners. They're torturing people on the most massive scale and in the most brutal ways you can possibly imagine.

    See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts

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