Daily Archives: April 7, 2006

Germany’s dialogue with the Uzbek regime: a disgrace for German democracy

In light of recent developments in Germany we are reposting this article from March.

This is an excellent article from Galima Burkabaeva, which deserves to be studied.

I was continually stunned by the enthusiasm of the cooperation of German officials and Ministers with the Uzbek regime. This even included Joschka Fischer, the most sycophantic of all politicians to regularly visit Tashkent.

The British consultant and former Liberal MP Michael Meadowcroft was kicked off a German-led, EU funded consultancy programme with the Uzbek parliament for pointing out that this was a token parliament (it meets five days a year) in a one party state. The rest of the consultants were all German and seemed to have no problem at all with this. Michael pointed out to me that they were all Russian speaking East Germans. That is indeed true of most of the Germans in Tashkent in official persons, particularly in the German aid agency..

When the EU brought in travel sanctions against Uzbekistan, on the very day those sanctions came into force Germany admitted Uzbek Interior Minister Almatov, the first name on the EU banned list, for medical treatment organised by the German government.

The German Air Base at Termez is of great symbolic significance to Germany because it is the first permanent overseas base Germany established since the Second World War. How fitting then that it should be sited with a fascist regime.

I am very reluctant indeed to conclude this, but I can no longer think of any other explanation for the attitude of German politicians and officials to Karimov, except that the German establishment retains a hereditary yearning for fascism.


Germany’s dialogue with the Uzbek regime: a disgrace for German democracy

From Muslim Uzbekistan


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Guantanamo detainee claims he was handed over by the US to Morocco for torture

From The Guardian

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) – Binyam Muhammad, who has been accused of plotting al-Qaida attacks in the United States, was tortured with a scalpel after American authorities handed him over to Moroccan interrogators, according to an account provided by his lawyer.

Muhammad made his first appearance in the U.S. military courtroom in Guantanamo Bay on Thursday, charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders to attack civilians and other crimes.

Wearing a long, orange collarless shirt and a black skullcap, the 27-year-old detainee told the judge that he has been tortured. He criticized U.S. authorities for getting his name wrong, claimed he was not the person they sought and bitterly suggested the court refer to him as Count Dracula.

“After four years of torture and rendition, you have the wrong person in the stand,” Muhammad said. Military documents spell his name variously as Muhammad and Mohammad. The judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, told Muhammad it was the prosecutor’s job to establish his identity during trial.


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Germany: Prosecutor Denies Uzbek Victims Justice

From Human Rights Watch

Almatov Decision Hurts Berlin’s Reputation

(Berlin, April 6, 2006) ‘ The decision by Germany’s federal prosecutor not to open an investigation against former Uzbek Minister of Interior Zokirjon Almatov for crimes against humanity will be challenged by Human Rights Watch. The prosecutor’s decision is a blow for victims in Uzbekistan and damages Germany’s reputation as a principled leader on behalf of international justice, Human Rights Watch said today.

On December 12, 2005, eight Uzbek victims of abuses, accompanied by Human Rights Watch, submitted a complaint against Almatov to the German federal prosecutor. They asked the prosecutor to open a criminal investigation against Almatov and 11 other Uzbek government officials for crimes against humanity related to the massacre of hundreds of unarmed citizens on May 13, 2005 in the eastern city of Andijan, and for the widespread and systematic use of torture. Almatov commanded the troops that bore primary responsibility for the mass killings in Andijan and, as interior minister, also oversaw Uzbek prisons and pre-trial detention facilities, where torture is routine. Four of the plaintiffs are victims of the Andijan massacre and four are victims of torture.

‘These victims have suffered horrific crimes and turned to Germany for the justice they could never find at home,’ said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director of Human Rights Watch. ‘It took tremendous courage for the victims to bring this case, so it is particularly disappointing that Germany has let them down.’

On March 31, 2006, Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm issued his decision not to go forward with an investigation against Almatov, arguing that the likelihood of a successful investigation and prosecution was ‘non-existent,’ given that Uzbekistan was unlikely to cooperate and an investigation in Uzbekistan would be necessary. The prosecutor apparently gave little weight to the fact that hundreds of victims and potential witnesses now live outside Uzbekistan, including in Germany, Romania, Holland, and Sweden.

What is more, the prosecutor appears not to have considered that he could interview international witnesses such as the former U.K. ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, or the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Theo van Boven, who had declared their willingness to serve as witnesses in the case. As special rapporteur, van Boven issued a report in 2003 documenting the systematic nature of torture in Uzbekistan.


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