Daily archives: April 4, 2007

Lessons learned: Iran’s release of British prisoners

csmonitor discusses the consequences and lessons from the anticipated British detainee release.

“The release of 15 British naval personnel Wednesday, coming after several days of intensified negotiations, was welcomed in Britain as evidence that a “softly, softly” approach could prove effective with Iran ‘ as it did in a similar prisoner crisis three years ago….”

Go here for the full article

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British Embassy No Longer Protects The Oppressed

Just after blogging yesterday that I had received 317 emails from people who had read “Murder in Samarkand”, I received the 318th. This one is unusual in that it is from someone I know slightly, an Uzbek I tried to help four years ago. I publish it because I think it is important, not least in what it says about the British Embassy in Tashkent no longer helping the oppressed. I have removed all details that may help the Uzbek government identify the sender.

Dear Mr Murray,

My name is… I wonder if you still remember me. I met you in Uzbekistan in … I was uzbek student who studied … I remember I came to you desperately seeking for help from aggressive and abusive actions of uzbek police and you helped me that time. You even went to police station with me trying to protect me from possible physical abuse. … I can not speak against uzbek authorities because my relatives and friends are in Uzbekistan and they have been threatened by bloody snb, that they all would have a huge problems if I am going to act like a decedent.

So, since then I am keeping myself quite, keeping all of the anger inside me. Here I met Andijan tragedy, and other abusive and terrible actions of uzbek terrorist government. Would you believe or not I did not even have any contacts with uzbek people in … I distanced myself from everything linked with Uzbekistan.

And then I bought your book and memorable emotions filled my head. I read whole your book in just 2 days. Every time I turned pages tears were on my eyes. Everything came to my memory, my childhood, my university ages, my friends, my parents and then my problems. I remembered neighbourhood where I lived in … gathering with my friends. It is terrible what regime did to people. At least I am alive and live in … dream for many uzbek people. I did not know, that regime was behaving so badly with foreign diplomats as well. I thought only Uzbeks deserved such brutal behaviour. I knew, that you were brave person, but when I read your book, I could not believe how much brave you are. You did more for uzbek people than any uzbek ever did. You gave us hope, that regime is not something which has unlimited power, that people can strike against this terrible persons.

After you have been sacked, British Embassy is not a place for desperate people anymore. Nobody cares about torture. Embassy became the same place it was before you. Of course after your experience nobody will want to have the same troubles with FCO. Now they are paying the price. Labours’ rating is the lowest as it ever was. They betrayed the person who really did a lot to increase British prestige among the most of uzbek people. There were even uneducated people who knew there is some place in Tashkent where they can find a protection, where they at least can be listened. So it was, but it worse now. NGOs have been closed, talented students do not have chance to study abroad anymore, instead they should study BLOODY karimov’s books, this lie, this hypocrisy.

Thinking about all of these, I do not regret that I left Uzbekistan, even those, I live here alone without any relatives or friends. I regret only about how mane more people will become victims of this terrible, brutal, inhuman regime. How many more people should suffer, or being killed before this BUSTARD karimov and his BLOODY dogs will go. I spoke with some people here about this, but nobody knows. One thing is certain, that it can not last forever. My situation is much better now. I have more or less good job, probably the best that immigrant refugee can get…. I am working as ….

I just dream, that one day we, I mean Uzbeks, can live free without being threatened. But, I do not know when, and how to make these days happened. I have spoken with …by the way big hello to you from him, and he told me that it would be very bloody way to get rid of regime. This conversation was even before Andijan tragedy, and history proved his opinion. He also was terrified after Andijan and said that it was too much blood for nothing.

I do not know if you were drinking alcohol, or having sex with women, but one thing is certain, is that you were the best diplomat UK could ever have. You cared about Human values of freedom and life, and cared about foreign non-British people when you saw, what a disaster is around them. You were doing the same things UK and US governments were talking about before Iraq invasion, that they were going to protect Iraqis from tyranny and gave them freedom. But instead that sacked their diplomat who was trying to implement this programme. What a hypocrisy.

I am sorry for my long letter, full of emotions. Two years I tried to forget about all of these and then suddenly bought your book and remembered everything.

I live in .. will be one day and will…wish to meet, I would be very happy. It will be very big honour for me to meet with you. Thank you very much for everything you did and still doing for uzbek people and for me personally.

Yours respectfully,

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