British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Rupert Joy is vocal and effusive in his praises of the Uzbek regime. But he has gone all coy and refused to answer any questions from leading Uzbek journalist Galima Burkabaeva about his starring appearance at dictator’s daughter Gulnara Karimova’s Tashkent Fashion TV extravaganza.
Galima put the same questions to me as to Rupert Joy. This article is based on my responses, and also notes that Rupert Joy refused to comment.
As the article also states, the Embassy’s Third Secretary, Richard Pike, gave a formal response to Galima stating that the Ambassador’s views had been explained in full at the fashion event – but unfortunately the Embassy could not provide a text or summary of what he had said!
So I emailed Richard Pike and Rupert Joy and asked, very politely indeed, whether they could point me to any public statements by Rupert Joy on human rights in Uzbekistan or on forced and child labour in the cotton industry. I have not received any reply at all.
Now I am a British taxpayer and perfectly entitled to ask a civil question about public statements and expect a reply. I am also the author of a widely read blog and entitled to expect answers from public servants for my readers.
It seems that unless you are a dictator given to imprisoning tens of thousands of prisoners and torturing hundreds to death, the British Embassy in Tashkent is not very interested in you. You may have more look in getting a response than I. Try [email protected] and [email protected]
The root cause of our government’s adoration of Karimov remains the war in Afghanistan. I was trying to avoid comment on Sky’s absurdly theatrical outings with some low level Taliban resistance personnel encouraged into silly bragging. But Iain Dale’s hysterical reaction spurs me into action.
In fact there were two genuine nuggets in the coverage which Sky News failed to pick up on at all in their fervour to promote the war agenda. An elder stated in terms that it was difficult to persuade people to lay down arms when civilian relatives were killed by coalition forces. It was also stated that young children were attracted to the Taliban when they saw coalition forces come into their villages. It was further repeatedly stated as a greivance that the Kabul government was corrupt.
Sky journalists simply ignored this vital information about the causes of resistance, and instead directed us towards funding from the UK of the “Taliban”, and theatrics about hiding an IED in a culvert, which was hardly news – we had not been under the impression they were suspended from hot air balloons. Sky allowed the talentless thug Liam Fox to witter endless nonsense about imposing the writ of the”democratic” government of President Karzai, without any journalist mentioning election fraud or pointing out to Fox that we had just seen repeated evidence that a primary grievance of the villagers was the corruption of the Karzai government.
The point is not about treason in the UK. It is about our occupying a country where the population do not want us.