Daily archives: May 13, 2010

Please Write To Your MP About Maksim Popov


This is Maksim Popov, an Uzbek psychologist sentenced to seven years in Karimov’s notorious jails for running an AIDS charity which distributed needles, condoms and UN supplied literature.

There is an excellent article about Maksim in Guardian CIF. As usual with web articles on Uzbekistan, many of the comments are from Karimov trolls.


The swift spread of AIDS in Uzbekistan is fuelled by the flood of heroin from the Dostum held areas of Afghanistan, in the trafficking of which Dostum and Karimov are personally involved. This is what UK citizen Richard Conroy of the UN was investigating when he was killed in a plane crash.

The Uzbek government bans programmes of free needles and also of free condoms – yet at the same time it seeks to reduce population through a forced sterilisation programme.


Even though Maksim Popov received some DFID and USAID funding for his work, neither the US nor the UK has made any protest to Uzbekistan about Popov’s jailing. The last UK government put their military alliance with Uzbekistan over Afghanistan as first and last in their relationship with Karimov, and increasingly refused to act over, or even to acknowledge, the dire state of human rights in the country.


I urge you strongly to write to your MP and urge the British government to protest formally to Uzbekistan over the jailing of Maksim Popov. International pressure can have an effect – it secured the release of Umida Akhmedova, whose sentence for publishing photographs that “damaged the image of Uzbekistan” has been suspended.


But it is also very important that you write now. I know from experience that the civil service will be gleaning from Ministers in the new government their first “Lines to Take”, to give policy direction on various questions. I am quite sure that Maksim will not mind if, in trying to help him, we also bring to the front of Minsters’ minds the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. (If you write to your MP, they should forward it to the Foreign Office and it will get a ministerial reply).

In opposition William Hague had raised the question of torture in Uzbekistan and our complicity in it.


Whether or not he is prepared to take action over Maksim Popov’s dreadful imprisonment will be an early indication as to whether foreign policy may improve.

You can get details of your MP here:


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Western Collusion in Assassination

Robert Fisk’s impeccable Arab sources strongly suspect, with good evidence, that Britain colluded in the murder in Dubai of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. I have been working my own British sources since seeing Fisk’s article in February.


This morning I can say that information has reached me that confirms that Fisk is right and these were not forged British passports, but real British passports given to Mossad by MI6. But my source cautions that you cannot conclude from that, that they were given for the purposes of this particular operation, or of assassination in general. The provision or exchange of blank passports between “friendly” intelligence agancies is not an uncommon practice.

Let us not be naive about this. Our most closely allied intelligence agency, the CIA, regularly assassinates people – and is even openly authorised to assassinate US citizens.


Anwar al-Alauqi denies any connection to terrorism. But he is most unlikely ever to be tried, as the US government plans just to execute him. Assassination squads are also a fundamental part of the plan for the “Surge” in Afghanistan, aimed to disrupt alleged Taliban networks, and operating on precisely the same plans the CIA death squads used in South and Central America. Drone attacks in Pakistan attempt assassinations on a regular basis, killing a great many women and children in the process, and British special forces are engaged in providing targeting information.

It seems most probable that Miliband’s synthetic anger at the Israeli use of British passports was really a reaction to the Israelis acting in a manner that was cavalier about our collusion being exposed.

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