Murray Slammed by Uzbek Rights Group

by Nathan Hamm on 10/12/2004

BBC Monitoring reports that the head of the Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Mikhail Ardzinov, has written a harsh, open letter to the world regarding Craig Murray on CentrAsia.ru.

“Many people here (and not only here… ellipsis as given throughout ) are aware of the fact that he has been behaving, to put it mildly, inadequately from the first day of his appearance in Uzbekistan He is like ‘a bull in a china shop.

“He always deals with things here which run directly counter to his ambassadorial status and diplomatic protocol. He directly and publicly crosses out all the riches of the thousand years of the history of the great (any nation is great) Uzbek nation, and wants to lead the nation along his own Craig path.

“He, Craig Murray, has awkwardly and unskilfully meddled in internal affairs of the country’s human rights protection since 2003. With the aim of owning and ruling Uzbek human rights organizations, he wants to set them against one another and bribes so-called rights activists.

“He absolutely foolishly attacks the Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan and its leadership because the IHRSU does not want to be owned by Mr Craig.

“He constantly contacts different kinds of inferior elements in society, human rights swindlers and bankrupt politicians, finances them and sets them against the government. He is a staunch defender of the illegal religious party Hezb-e Tahrir, which was officially recognized as the extremist religious organization in the USA, Germany, and in many Arabic and other countries.

“Being himself ‘morally unstable’ (according to some media reports he left his family and two children and married an Uzbek hairdresser here), as the Communists used to say…, he is teaching morals to others (?!)… An immoral man cannot be a teacher… ellipsis as published

“With all this going on, many people think that he is not doing the duties that he is directly bound to do as an ambassador, and he is not rendering any significant assistance in such a serious transitional period to Uzbekistan, which is a developing and needy country. Instead, he is only causing damage,” it said.

In this context he also asks: “Perhaps he himself, Craig Murray, wants to… become a president?!”

In conclusion Ardzinov said that the UK ambassador had no knowledge about Uzbekistan.

“The problem of this sexy and strange ‘ambassador’, Craig Murray, is that he has no idea about Uzbekistan. He even does not know those with whom he wants to carry out a revolution here. If he knew, he would immediately run back to his England…”

If something seems odd in Mr. Ardzinov’s tone, it’s probably because the IHRSU is a pro-government organization with official recognition. I think a few of the allegations, particularly about Murray being naive and about him being “a bull in a china shop,” stick.

All things considered though, I’d put money on this being the official view of the Uzbek government.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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