Wow… Andijon Trial Shocker

by Nathan Hamm on 10/14/2005 · 10 comments

Some surprising testimony by way of the BBC.

Makhbuba Zakirova told the court that she saw soldiers shooting at people waving a white flag.

“Even Hitler did not do such things,” she said.

Mrs Zakirova said that after speaking out in court, she feared for her life and freedom.

Mrs Zakirova, 33, said she mingled with anti-government protesters in the city square while walking with her children.

She said she stayed out of curiosity when she heard Uzbek President Islam Karimov was supposed to talk with the protesters.

“There were people in helmets everywhere. I twice saw soldiers shooting from military vehicles. The shooting was intense,” she said, the Reuters news agency reported.

Mrs Zakirova was interrupted by the prosecutor, who asked: “Do you realise what you are saying? Are you sure?”

She replied: “Are you going to arrest me now? I was telling only the truth, and you yourself asked me to give a truthful testimony… I am only saying what I saw.”

Thank you to Brian for the link.

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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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Sardor October 14, 2005 at 6:48 pm

Courageous woman… I hope she will be safe in Uzbekistan now.

david_walther October 15, 2005 at 4:48 am

I really hope that this gets the attention it deserves… that is to say, I really, really hope for her sake that the media really pay attention to her (and whether she and her family are safe), because if they pass over the story, anyone who watches uzbekistan at all can hazzard a good guess about what’s going to happen to her, her family, and their property now.

Brian October 15, 2005 at 12:24 pm

Reuters reports that her family apparently is amongst those in Romania now. Probably one of the reasons she was able to speak out. But that took a lot of guts. If the Uzbek govt. is going to punish her, I might put my money on her being sent to a psychiatric ward… she must obviously be crazy, right? She did good by asking the prosecutor if she’d be arrested; it forced him to say ‘no’ in front of the cameras. So if she is arrested now, it’d look that much worse (though it probably doesn’t matter).

I hope her new fame grants her some protection.

bob October 16, 2005 at 4:33 am

I just feel sorry for Islam Karimov in all of this. I mean, he goes to all that trouble to make sure that the condemned – I mean the “accused”, fully understand what they’re supposed to be saying, and when, and to whom, and what will happen to them if they don’t – and then some idiot eyewitness goes and spoils it all by telling the truth in front of the world media…

Seriously though – this is one of the most courageous incidents I’ve seen in this whole sorry affair.

Uzbek October 16, 2005 at 7:53 am

After so many words have been said, so many lies about innocent people who were gunned down, words accusing the men, who could not stand idle any more in the face of ever increasing oppression of the Krimov’s corrupt and bloodthirsty government, of belonging to wacko Islamic fundamentalist group which want to establish Grand Islamic Caliphate in the whole world, so many words of support uttered to the dictator and his government from Russia, China and even from Bukharian Jews in New York as if Karimov is left alone to do the fighting with the extremist islamists and by doing so he is doing a favour for the whole world and the world should be thankful to him instead of criticizing him, alone in the region overflowing with this fundamentalists somehow attacking only Uzbekistan while Kazakhstan and others are enjoying annual growth of their GDP and national income, the truth is becoming more and more obvious, it is interesting what the reaction of Putin and Hu Jintao would be, will it be another proof of the disregard to the unalienable human rights demonstrated times and times again in Chechnya by the former KGB officer.
One thing is for sure, the affect of the tragedy in Andijon to the psyche of the people in Uzbekistan is making itself felt, people are letting themselves talk more openly, disregarding the fear of consequences because they have already seen the worst, a lot of people lost everything they could, as a result the system of fear on which Krimov’s power was built is showing the signs of fault.

Anonymous October 16, 2005 at 9:09 am

This is amazing.

I still have a question after reading HRW report on Andijon. It’s hard to understand how the crowd remained assembled after several drive-by shootings by security forces that left many dead. Normally, such an action would disperse a crowd. Any ideas?

brian October 16, 2005 at 10:55 am

From what I’ve gathered, the soldiers and their vehicles had blocked off most of of the exits from the square.

Anonymous October 17, 2005 at 8:04 pm

Except that the HRW report, which is the most complete we have, doesn’t mention that — except at the end of the day. My question is more about why people kept coming, and staying, throughout the day….

T-Rex October 19, 2005 at 3:44 am

Because most of this HRW report is nothing but a lie. I am not trying to support the actions of the governmental troops, but I’ve talked to some people and I know that they won’t lie, they say that most of this talk is nothing but a sham. A close friend of mine, who has some friends at the SNB saw the tapes , which were taken by the protesters. In some of them you could see foreign jounralists who were shooting on camera how protesters were killing police officers and they did nothing, they just kept shooting. I mean that a governmental line, which accusing the foreign media, is not just a groundless attack, there are strong reasons for this. The foreign media was there long before the uprising, it was informed and did nothing to prevent killings. You may disagree with me, but one has to also look at the other side of the moon!!!

Uzbek October 19, 2005 at 6:01 am

What do You want to say, are You saying that foreign journalists should have taken sides????? I think You should think about functions and duties of journalists and reporters, especially in the war zone.
Yes, maybe You are right, maybe those who broke lose from the jail, after being put there on fabricated, self-incriminating confessions obtained under torture in the first place, who had experienced what it means to be locked up in the jails of Uzbekistan, did kill those Militsiya and SNB killers and torturers, who have raped their women in front of their eyes and boiled to death their friends; killed under the influence of psychological stress, thirst for vengeance after so long a period of being oppressed.
But all this does not mean that journalists should have done anything to stop them or kill them as the government soldiers did, what they had to, because it is their duty and obligation, is to REPORT it, as it happened, something the government of Karimov that You seem to defend is stopping to do and especially his dogs and murderers in SNB and Militsia!!!
I would advise You not to believe to those who work in SNB and be careful with them, You won’t understand how it happened when they accuse You of being a wacko fundamentalist member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir or some kind of group who wants to build Caliphate in the Entire World but somehow started its building operations from Uzbekistan and You being THE VILLAIN!!!

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