Web application on detained human rights defenders in Uzbekistan

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An “Insignificant State” called “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan” or a highly repressive regime torturing human rights defenders?

Spread the word about imprisoned Uzbek human rights defenders to secure their release!

Last October 21 2011, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) launched a new web application to bring attention to the situation of the human rights defenders still incarcerated in horrific conditions in Uzbek prisons.

US Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stated on 8 October 2011 “When they ask me who’s the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say, ’You know, I don’t know. Do you know?” Cain added that it was not a priority to know “the head of one of those small, insignificant states around the world”.

FIDH does want people to know. And to care.

At least 10 Uzbek human rights defenders remain in detention under appalling conditions ; several of them are members of FIDH member organisation, the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU).
Nevertheless, Uzbekistan has long been a key US partner, hosting US military bases servicing the Afghan military campaign. Moreover, in 2009 the EU dropped all 2005 sanctions imposed following the Andijan tragedy, despite there being no serious change in Uzbekistan’s human rights record.

On the rare occasions that the international community has sent strong messages on human rights issues these calls have been heard: on the eve of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s last visit to Uzbekistan in December 2010, one human rights defender, Farhad Mukhtarov was released. Again, on 14 October 2011, the member of the HRSU Norboy Kholjigitov was released on parole, after 6 years and 4 months in detention, in advance of Hillary Clinton’s visit to Tashkent on 23 October 2011.

Must we wait another 10 years to release all the imprisoned human rights defenders?

Help us secure the release of the remaining Uzbek human rights defenders in detention!

Circulate FIDH’s application (in English and Russian) and spread the word about this situation by linking it to your websites, blogs and social networks: http://www.fidh.org/2011_UZ

The application details the history of human rights defenders, their wrongful detention, and the general political background influencing their situation.

Uzbek civil society is in dire need of your support!

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