Uzbekistan – A Human Rights Hell

My visit in Uzbekistan a number of years ago convinced me that there is no understanding of freedom and human rights in this former Soviet country, similar to most, if not all, such countries in Central Asia.

Not long ago, the leader of a humanitarian organisation has been arested in another Central Asia republic, at the request of KGB in Uzbekistan (the commonwealth of Soviet KGB is alive and well in most former Soviet republics), because about seven years before his organisation published a leaflet on HIV&AIDS without the approval of Uzbek censureship bureau. Thus, the Uzbek KGB asked for the foreign aid worker be arrested and extradited to this country. Fortunately, it all ended up well for him and he is free now.

Not so, however, for another victim of the (neo)communist manners of the Uzbek autocratic regime. Thus, ‘Makset Djabbarbergenov – a Protestant pastor wanted in his home country of  Uzbekistan for “illegal” religious teaching and literature distribution – has been arrested by the authorities of Kazakhstan, where he sought refuge in 2007. He was detained after police held his sister-in-law for two weeks to find his whereabouts, family members told Forum 18 News Service. A court ordered on 7 September Djabbarbergenov be held in detention until Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor’s Office decides whether to send him back.
“As a person I can say this is not right,” Daniyar Zharykbasov of Almaty’s Bostandyk District Prosecutor’s Office told Forum 18. “But we have to follow the rules.” In June the United Nations Committee Against Torture condemned Kazakhstan for sending back 28 Uzbek Muslim refugees and asylum seekers in 2011. They were arrested on their return and at least some received long prison terms.’

Read HERE the full description of this intolerable case of human rights abuse.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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