The good news is that Alisher Khakimjanov was granted asylum by a judge yesterday after being refused by the Home Office and scheduled for deportation to Uzbekistan.
One interesting facet of the original Home Office decision was that they explicitly stated that they would not accept evidence from opponents of the Uzbek regime – including me – as it is not “Objective”.
Whereas evidence from the Uzbek regime itself and its supporters is objective, according to the Home Office.
I am involved in another case which has been refused by both Home Office and judge and which is now going to the European Court of Human Rights. In that case the Home Office states that the British Embassy has consulted a Tashkent law firm who say there is no human rights problem in Uzbekistan.
This is the equivalent of “We have taken advice from a Berlin law firm who say that there is no danger to individuals from Herr Hitler and his government”. I am genuinely stupefied by the refusal of the Home Office to accept what the entire world knows is the nature of the Uzbek regime. I actually have sympathy for the argument that many asylum seekers from many countries are economic migrants with weak claims. But the tiny number – less than 50 – of Uzbek asylum seekers who have escaped (Uzbekistan still has exit visas) and made it here, are victims of blind unreasoned Home Office hostility.
The policy is so unreasonable I can only believe it is conditioned by our desire to butter up Karimov to maintain the military alliance with him over Afghanistan. This is yet another terrible shame on this British government, which has betrayed in so many ways the many good people who built up the Labour Party.