Daily archives: May 9, 2006

Andijan One Year On: Lessons and Perspectives for the Future’

Monica Whitlock (BBC)

Introducing a BBC documentary, Cheaper than the Ground.

Alisher Ilkhamov (SOAS)

Akramiya: fact or fiction?

Matteo Fumagalli (University of Edinburgh)

Andijan: Views from beyond the border’

Thursday, 11 May 2006 @ 17.30, Room G3, Main Building, SOAS

All are Welcome (seminars are free and open to the public).

Booking is not required.

For further information contact: Scott Newton (Centre Chair) [email protected] (Tel: 020 7898 4658) or Jane Savory [email protected] (Tel: 020 7898 4892)

School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG

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Censorship of the media in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is in the top ten countries for censorship of the media, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, ahead of Syria, Belarus, China and Russia.

From the Committee to Protect Journalists

Leader: President Islam Karimov, elected 1991; presidential term extended by referendums in 1995 and again in 2002.

How censorship works: Karimov has re-established a Soviet-style dictatorship that relies on brutal political intimidation to silence journalists, human rights activists, and the political opposition. Karimov’s regime uses an informal system of state censorship to prevent the domestic media from reporting on widespread police torture, poverty, and an Islamic opposition movement. Uzbekistan has also distinguished itself among the former Soviet republics as the leading jailer of journalists, with six behind bars at the end of 2005.

Lowlight: After troops killed hundreds of antigovernment protesters in the city of Andijan in May 2005, Karimov’s regime cracked down on foreign media. The BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Institute for War & Peace Reporting were forced to close their Tashkent bureaus. A dozen foreign correspondents and local reporters working for foreign media had to flee the country.

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ACLU Calls for U.S. Accountability Before the U.N. Committee Against Torture

From the American Civil Liberties Union (08/05/2006)

The ACLU’s report to the Committee Against Torture is available here

The ACLU’s petition is available here

GENEVA — Today the American Civil Liberties Union delivered a petition with more than 51,000 signatures calling for the enforcement of the universal prohibition against torture to the U.S. State Department delegation at the meeting of the U.N. Committee Against Torture in Geneva. The ACLU has been monitoring the committee proceedings and providing information about U.S. sponsored policies and practices of torture and abuse at home and abroad. The U.S. delegation denied on Friday that incidents of detainee abuse are systemic.

“Instead of denying the systemic abuse of detainees confirmed by its own documents, the U.S. government must own up to the truth and take full responsibility,” said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project who is currently observing the committee’s examination of the U.S. report in Geneva. “We hope that the Committee Against Torture will hold the government accountable for the torture and abuse of detainees both within the United States and abroad.”

Addressed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and delivered to John Bellinger, a Department of State legal advisor who is heading the U.S. delegation, the petition states: “Torture. Government kidnapping. Indefinite detention. These are not ideas we associate with the United States of America. They do not represent who we are as Americans. By promoting and condoning these practices in our military and intelligence forces, your administration has broken faith with the American values of freedom and fairness.”

The ACLU also expressed deep concern with many of the responses of the U.S. delegation to questions posed by committee members. In particular, the ACLU is concerned about the inadequacy of the measures taken to prevent torture and abuse, and the failure to hold military and civilian leaders accountable for the torture and inhuman treatment of persons in U.S. custody. In addition, the U.S. said that it can kidnap persons from outside the U.S. and transport them to third countries without violating the Convention. The ACLU charges that the U.S. has illegally rendered detainees to countries and places where torture and abuse are common, and that diplomatic assurances have failed to prevent their torture.


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