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Dozens Killed as Soldiers Fire on Protesters in Uzbekistan
by susanhbu Fri May 13th, 2005
George’s friendly oil dictator in Uzbekistan, Karimov ran into some protest by his people. In the eastern city of Andijon, pop. 300,000, angry Islamists took up arms to get their leader out of prison. In the unrest that followed, 9 persons were killed and 34 wounded. The news is very sketchy, but it appears government buildings have been taken over and hostages are held. The news agency reported the president was on his way to the east, to calm down the people.
Is George for a Democracy or will he side with authority and OIL? Other western European nations have followed GWB footsteps into the murky oil spils of Karimov.
More below the fold on background info …
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The deal with the United States serves Karimov’s agenda in other ways as well. The former Soviet boss, who rules with an iron fist and has been called a “human rights nightmare” by various international human rights watchdogs, could hardly find a more opportune way to pump up his flagging popularity at home.
To the approval of his people, Karimov has signaled to Russia — still so influential in its old neighborhood — that Uzbekistan will go its own way and choose its own friends. But he has been dogged by criticism of his record. Human Rights Watch cautioned Washington to step carefully in the Central Asian nation.
“If the United States is going to ally itself with Uzbekistan, it has to find a way to avoid aligning itself with Uzbekistan’s brutal policies,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director of Human Rights Watch. “President Bush has said the war on terrorism cannot become a war on Islam,” he said. “The government of Uzbekistan is undeniably at war with forms of Islam it does not control.”
President Karimov has arrived in the troubled city of Andijon, where soldiers have opened fire on the crowds of protesters. The people uprising aim to rid the country of the Karimov dictatorship, in analogy to neighboring Kyrgyzstan in March.
From reports, there are now 20 Uzbeks who have died and 2000 prisoners escaped as the crowd attacked and forced the release of their Muslim leader.
Oui – Liberté – Egalité – Fraternité