Many congratulations to The Times for giving us an article on the revitalised programme of compulsory sterilisation in Uzbekistan.
Karimov is increasingly crazed. The only disagreement I have with the article is that the population of Uzbekistan is only increasing in official statistics. In fact, about a fifth of the population (including nearly all the ethnic Russians) have emigrated since independence.
It is very worthwhile to see articles in the mainstream media which reveal something of the truth about the situation in the country. This is particularly chilling, and perfectly believable:
Activists say mass sterilisation began in 2003, but was eased after two years following an outcry. It is said to have restarted in February this year, when the health ministry ordered doctors to recommend sterilisation as an “effective contraceptive”. Critics claim every doctor was told to persuade “at least two women” a month to have the procedure. Doctors who failed faced reprisals and fines.
“We estimate that since February, about 5,000 women have been sterilised without consent,” said a local human rights campaigner who fears detention if she is named.
Remember, this is a country which is our “Ally” in the war on terror, whose ruling family personally have the overland supply contracts for allied forces in Uzbekistan, which the Home Office claims in asylum cases has no human rights problems. Miliband’s FCO offers not one word of criticism of perhaps the world’s most despotic regime.