Uzbekistan: Karimov’s trip to Prague “indefinitely postponed” following mobilisation of human rights groups.

14/02/2014
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The President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, was scheduled to travel to Prague on 20 February 2014. His trip met with massive opposition from human rights groups.

FIDH and over 30 organisations launched a campaign for Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman to cancel the visit. Mutabar Tadjibayeva, the President of FIDH’s member organisation the “Fiery Hearts Club” further denounced it in an open letter.

The campaign initially elicited a remarkable response from President Zeman who wished the authors of the protest “more awareness and less hypocrisy”. The organisations replied listing grave human rights abuses in Uzbekistan and their multiple campaigns on the issues. As a result, a number of Czech ministers cancelled their meetings with the President of Uzbekistan. Mr Karimov then “postponed” his visit to the Czech Republic.

This is a success of international solidarity that sends a strong message both to imprisoned human right defenders in Uzbekistan and to the leaders of all European countries who would wish to invite the perpetrators of grave human rights violations. The fact the Karimov’s plane will not land at the airport bearing the name of Vaclav Havel is a symbol which matters.

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