Sunday, 25 November 2007

Substantial Grounds: Update

Further to the evidence from a variety of human rights groups and other concerned parties of torture and repression in Uzbekistan, a new statement has been put out by Human Rights Watch, making urgent recommendations in response to a UN report1.

Hat-tips: andy cyan at Craig Murray's blog (18:03, 24/11); b at Craig Murray's blog (15:56, 25/11).

"In a highly critical assessment made public today (Friday), the committee concluded that torture and ill-treatment remain “widespread” in Uzbekistan and continue to occur with “impunity.”"
"The 10 independent experts making up the [UN Committee against Torture] panel noted a range of concerns about...numerous, ongoing, and consistent allegations concerning routine use of torture...committed by law enforcement and investigative personnel, or with their instigation or consent."
A fortnight ago, an asylum court ruled against Jahongir Sidikov in a fast-track deportation hearing2. They 'didn't believe' there is a genuine threat to the political activist's life in Uzbekistan, and they 'didn't believe' that he will be subject to torture and human rights abuses3.

Therefore, they denied the conclusions of the UN Committee against Torture, The US Department of State, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Craig Murray (ex-UK ambassador to Uzbekistan), and also the leader of the banned opposition party (ERK) of which Sidikov is a member, Muhammad Salih4 - They said his letter was not genuine3.

In Murray's words4, "they got it disastrously wrong".

1. http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/11/23/uzbeki17406.htm
2. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/11/jahongir_sidiko.html (Craig Murray, Comments 25/11, 22:39)
3. http://freecommonwealth.blogspot.com/2007/11/jahongir-sidikovs-story.html
4. http://www.muhammadsalih.info/englishms/index1.htm

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