Tashkent: On 16 February 1999.

1999. March 3rd.

Uzbekistan Human Rights Society

Following the terrorists in Tashkent on 16 February 1999 a series of explosions, the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) expressed concern that the event can be used by the Uzbek authorities to start a new round of arrests of Muslim believers and members of non-violent opposition. Information coming to us in recent days confirm, unfortunately, our worst fears.
On the night of February 19 to 20, half of the 11 th to the house Botirzhona Nurmatova in a car such as “Field” arrived five employees of the Interior Ministry, three of whom were in civilian clothes, and two – in the form of Special Forces (masked). They presented a warrant to search the house B.Nurmatova and arrest him. B.Nurmatova parents say he was arrested in January 1998, and on July 13 of that year, the Tashkent City Court sentenced to death, but it was tainted by the Tashkent city prosecutor’s office.
Hearing this Cosimo Colonel Jamil (as he introduced himself to parents B.Nurmatova) (office tel. 139-73-82), who led the operations group, expressed great surprise. He calmed trembling with fear parents B.Nurmatova wrote your business phone number and promised to help. However, he refused to speak to her mother B.Nurmatova when she called him on February 22, stating that the leadership of the Ministry of Interior is not the time to consider such cases.
According to witnesses arrest people MVD come mostly at night and masks. This strikes fear in the people, paralyzing their will. To this effect, it seems, and calculate the Uzbek authorities.

Article about BOTIRZHONE Nurmatova included in the newsletter HRSU, which was distributed to the public and international organizations. It can also be read on the Internet. There are other specific human rights violations. However, after four months of no government organization (MVD, Prosecutor’s Office, Supreme Court, etc.) are not expressed its attitude to the information included in the newsletter. More than that. January 2, 1999 HRSU appealed to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. U.Hudaykulovu to institute paperwork for newly discovered evidence relating to criminal cases Botirzhona Nurmatova, Meli Kobilova and Hamdam Boymuhamedova. Breaking the law “On citizens’ Prosecutors (!) Of the Republic has not yet responded to our letter.

B.Nurmatova example illustrates (to us this information reached in early 1998) that the list of people (mostly Muslim believers) to be seized, carefully prepared in advance to the Ministry of Interior (for at least two years). Although, apparently, a small proportion of these people had already been arrested and convicted, but the authorities did not dare to carry out mass arrests. The fact that people are still police arrested in the ground (in the overwhelming cases) using drugs and ammunition. This method of arrest has been widely discussed in recent years in the world press, public defenders, and he strongly discredited himself and all those who use it. Authorities needed a more powerful motive.
The confusion with the arrest B.Nurmatova occurred probably because the city prosecutor’s office did not know the list of people to be arrested, and she had not informed the Interior Ministry about the time that the employees facilitated it, ie MIA job.

Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) in its statement released on February 16, obnarodyvaya its attitude to the tragic events of that day, refrain suggest the potential power that could potentially carry out a series of explosions in Tashkent. After recovering from the initial shock at the incident of time, reflect and rethink some facts, now, I think, we can estimate the likelihood of involvement in the incident of some forces.

You may have noticed that people are busy discussing the following versions:
a) carried out a bombing Islamists, most of the population suffered from repression of the authorities since 1992;
b) the drug mafia was involved in the bombings, in which recently Uzbek authorities dealt telling blows;
a) explosions in Tashkent – this is revenge of the senior people from the power structures that have been removed from their posts for the last time;
d) explosions Russian security services organized in response to the output of Uzbekistan from the Collective Security Treaty;
d) explosions in Tashkent – a product of complicated by the relationship between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan;
e) explosions planned and organized by the Uzbek authorities.
Which of these versions of the most plausible?

Of course, each of these versions may have a right to life, the most likely to be in terms of performance. The Uzbek authorities have stated explicitly that the blasts – the work of “Islamic militants.” These statements do not hold, that is, the likelihood that the bombings carried out by Islamists, is negligible. Persecuted believers, Muslims are in 1992, and for all those 7 years on their part was no violent resistance. Although a number of murders occur in Namangan in 1996-97, the government accused the Islamists, but in one trial, conducted over the Islamists, their guilt has not been proven. Even in court over “terrorist” Tolib Mamazhanovym Many listeners have noticed that the state prosecution arguments were unconvincing, the defendant himself, it seemed, played the role of memorized. In some regions (Namangan, Tashkent, Khorezm, etc.) were carried out in Uzbekistan “showcase” the courts, the purpose of which was to “show” as may be bloodthirsty Islamists, just give them the freedom that they always live with Duma of the seizure of power.
Persecution of Muslim believers, which began in 1992, was such a scale that the true extent of their hard to imagine. In conclusion, there are hundreds and thousands of faithful Muslims, who are deprived of all human rights. Here is one example. 40% (more than 400) of all prisoners in the camp of strict regime VH 64-25, located in Karaulbazar are faithful Muslims, people who have suffered for their religious beliefs. Almost all of these people have a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years. Among them, high mortality due to tuberculosis. Over the last 7.5 years here no medical examination. Recently closed a camp mosque and not to send prayers, and the muezzin, who performed call (azone) to prayer, was killed by a recidivist from the same camp (ripped open his stomach with a knife.)

Through the efforts of human rights defenders and journalists, and various organizations, the world learned about these repressions, their scale, and the Uzbek authorities were unable to hide it all from the world’s democratic community. Not such a high rating of the government of Uzbekistan began to fall.

It should be noted that, although the major international organizations like the UN, EU, OSCE (and others) knew about these repressions, but in many respects they have taken the position of the observer, and the Uzbek government took advantage of this moment. Only in recent years the OSCE has to pay more or less attention to human rights violations in Uzbekistan. In this authoritative organization, as noted by the correspondent of the newspaper “Trud” Mr. Biryukov, recently accumulated a lot of complaints to the government of Uzbekistan (the weekly “Trud-7», 19.02.1999, № 30 (23 255)).
One of the senior leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Chairman of the organization Ms Helle Degn personally saw one of the explosions. It was about a hundred meters from the explosion at the “Intercontinental” and talked with members of the opposition and human rights defenders in Uzbekistan. Was not this explosion is timed for the arrival of Mrs. H.Dayn? – This question comes to mind every time you remember the aforementioned words of Mr. V.Biryukova. According to Mr. V. Biryukov Mrs. H.Dayn during a meeting with journalists recognized that now understands the challenges faced by the Uzbek authorities. These in your own words, Mr. Biryukov seems lifts the veil of secrecy.

History gives us many examples in order to eliminate their political opponents of the authorities arranged various provocations and sabotage, and responsibility shifted on unsuspecting opponents. This happened in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin in the Soviet Union. In one form or another, in some level such events occur in all countries with totalitarian or authoritarian regimes.
Uzbekistan is experiencing difficult times in its history. In domestic politics – in the field of economy, science, health, education, social work (and so on) – there is complete depression. In foreign policy, things do not go better with any of the neighboring countries, and many are not neighbors had not seen a normal relationship. Integration with Europe and the U.S. is not very smooth. Such a policy can only lead to isolation.

February 16 by explosions hurt, but especially – human rights and freedoms. Subsequent events show the explosions that society into violence and therefore it would be delayed for a long time the process of democratic transition. What will the reaction of authoritative international organizations, the great powers of the world democratic community to these events – this will largely depend on the future of Uzbekistan: will it in a democratic way of development or it will persist for many years the power of violence.

Talib Yakubov – General Secretary of the Society Human Rights in Uzbekistan

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