Protests at US Embassy in Tashkent

by Laurence on 5/3/2005

Ferghana.Ru reports on a demonstration in front of the American Embassy in Uzbekistan’s capital:

A protest action against tyranny and the deteriorating socioeconomic standing of the population began in front of the US Embassy in Tashkent on May 2. Almost 100 protesters, largely women with children, formed a line at 11:30 a.m. along the street in front of the Embassy with placards demanding help from impoverishment, unemployment, unfair trials, and police tyranny. Some protesters demanded resignation of the government, President Islam Karimov, and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev. A lot of protesters had come to the capital from rural areas, mostly from the Kashkadarja region.

Some blows were exchanged between the police and protesters at first. The police tried to detain a toddler – and found themselves attacked by a mob of enraged women throwing rocks. Embassy security kept its distance and local law enforcement agencies gave ground for a time. At noon, traffic along the central Tashkent thoroughfares continued, closely monitored by reinforced traffic police patrols.

Organizers of the protest action had announced through Internet that unless the protesters’ demands were met, they would pitch a tent camp in central Tashkent or overrun an administrative building.

Asked why the US Embassy was chosen, protesters replied that they could not count on the local authorities’ goodwill or on help from Russia and nearby countries and therefore wanted to attract attention of the US Department of State, international organizations, and the media.

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