EU, Uzbekistan, & Umarov

by Nathan Hamm on 11/6/2006 · 6 comments

From Gulambek S. Umarov, urging the EU to not forget Uzbekistan’s political prisoners when reforging ties with the Uzbek government. — Nathan

On November 8, an official Uzbekistan delegation will hold negotiations with the European Union representatives. We urge you to please help raise the issue of abuse of human rights by the Government of Uzbekistan, including Sanjar Umarov. His relatives and even attorneys haven’t seen him since July 7th. Sanjar Umarov’s current medical condition is unknown, he’s held practically all the time in a solitary confinement cell of the colony, where even letters are not allowed.

I am writing out of grave concern for the health and safety of my father, Dr. Sanjar Umarov, a political prisoner who has been incarcerated since October 21 in a solitary confinement at the Tashkent City Prison, and then in the prison colony “УЯ 64/47” (Kiziltepa, Navoi Region) and with whom we have had no contact for more than four months. I, my family and the members of the Sunshine Coalition urgently request that the EU take the opportunity of the November 8th meeting with the Government of Uzbekistan to make an official inquiry as to the current state of Sanjar Umarov’s health and protest the GOU’s continuing violation of Sanjar Umarov’s human rights and refusals to allow his lawyer and family members to have contact with him.

My father’s fate has become an international symbol of the GOU’s systematic violation of human rights and its persecution of the leaders of Uzbekistan’s civil society. As Chairman of the Coalition for National Unity “Sunshine Uzbekistan,” he publicly and forcefully campaigned for both socio-economic reforms and dialogue with the GOU. His courageous public condemnation and his call for national repentance gave hope to millions.

His subsequent arrest, torture, trial and imprisonment was condemned by all major human rights organizations, such as the UN Human Rights Council, the U.S. Congress, the Council of the European Union.

The members of the Sunshine Coalition have no illusions about the nature of the current regime, its determination to cling to power or its continuing abuse of our brothers’ and sisters’ human rights. We do not call for violence in response to violence, but rather pray for peace and reconciliation. As the EU and its member states embark on a new round of engagement with the GOU, we beg the EU President not to forget the thousands of political prisoners rotting in Uzbekistan’s jails and urge him to insist that the GOU respect its binding international commitments for their humane treatment.

Gulambek S. Umarov

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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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Laurence November 6, 2006 at 11:13 am

Nathan, Thank you for posting this. Let’s see if it helps…

Gulambek November 6, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Nathan not quite sure how you get all my emails, but really appreciate your assistance.

Thank you,

Nathan November 6, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Gulambek, I get them directly from you. I’ve received press releases, etc. from Sunshine Uzbekistan for a very long time now.

Brian November 6, 2006 at 11:50 pm

Nathan, did you realize that you’re now showing up in Google News? First time I’ve seen that happen. You’re the 2nd link under “Uzbekistan” today. Congrats.

Nathan November 6, 2006 at 11:59 pm

Thanks, Brian.

Yeah, I knew that we were showing up there now. I asked them to list the site many, many times before they agreed. They have no real clear policies, so it’s a bit luck fo the draw.

Yorqin November 7, 2006 at 2:02 am

Thanks and I really hope this will have an effect indeed.

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