In Bed With Lola and Gulnara 140

The Afghanistan conference in Bonn is a farce. There are no representatives of the Afghan resistance to the occupation, so it is not negotiating peace. Karzai’s corrupt and effete presidency, obtained by massive electoral fraud, expires in 2014. It is no coincidence that immediately after that the NATO troops will leave. Be guaranteed that none of the Karzai family will remain in Afghanistan, but will rather retire to Switzerland with the many billions of dollars they have looted from UK and US taxpayers’ funds, and made from the heroin trade.

Pakistan of course is not present at the conference. After approximately 6,000 Pakistanis were blown up by the USA on Pakistani soil, the next 25 were killed all at once and were all young soldiers, something that not even Pakistan’s complacent, corrupt government could gloss over. So for now all of NATO’s ground supplies are being shipped through Uzbekistan – the percentage of NATO supplies going that way was already increased to almost 50% and still rising fast as a matter of policy,

Lucky that Hillary has a new best friend in President Karimov

All of which explains why there has been not one single word of criticism of Uzbekistan’s human rights record by the co-alition government in the UK. There was not one single mention of human rights, of child slave labour, of political prisoners, of free elections, unbanning the opposition, of freedom of assembly, speech or religious belief, when the British government hosted official Uzbek parliamentary and trade delegations last month. There was not one word either in public or in private on any of these subjects.

The current British government loves Karimov. It has never issued even the mildest criticism. Boiling people alive and torturing political opponents to death is fine by them. We even deport him back extra dissidents to practice on. This British government succesfully pushed through the EU new preferential tariff access for Uzbek cotton picked by eight year old child slaves.
The love affair with the British establishment goes wider than just this government. New Labour’s chief financier, their own Lord Ashcroft, is a man named Andrew Rosenfeld. He has sold a house in Switzerland to Karimov’s daughter Lola for three times its market value. Such huge payments in excess of market value are, very often, a spot of money laundering with the extra money being in return for something else.

Money flows both way – as previously reported here, Karimov’s elder daughter Gulnara is getting a massive cut from the transport of all those NATO supplies through Uzbekistan.

But the latest bit of love-in with the Karimov family will astound you. William Hague is going to agree that Gulnara Karimova – the most hated person in Uzbekistan – can come and live in London as Uzbek Ambassador. The request for her to be accepted (“agrement” in diplomatic parlance, in French) – has been in for some time. The only obstacle remaining is to resolve how many of Gulnara’s seven bodyguards will be allowed to carry semi-automatic weapons on the streets of London.

Among our major political parties, the notion of morality appears virtually as dead as it is to the Karimov family.

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140 thoughts on “In Bed With Lola and Gulnara

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  • OldMark

    ‘I note in particular that Mr Joy appears to have spent three years in the FCO’s Counter-Terrorism Department.’

    Our Man in Tashkent does indeed have an interesting CV; his next move (after the bombing campaign, presumably) was to the ‘FCO Kosovo Unit’, where he must have cosied up to guys who previously were top dogs in the KLA (until 1998 considered by the US, and thus also the FCO, a ‘terrorist group’).

    To get ahead in the FCO, ‘flexibility’ about whom you categorise as terrorists, or abusers of human rights, is clearly advantageous.

  • lysias

    At the time, the KLA was very much involved with Al Qaeda, which had already at that point bombed the U.S. embassies in East Africa. So Joy, with this former counterterrorism involvement, undoubtedly had dealings with Al Qaeda people.

  • Komodo

    @ Jon;
    Thanks for the LittleSis links – very interesting, and I’ll see if I can contribute. Russian in China: thank you too. Though I think that the murky networks based in the UK are more than enough work for me! Shirin Akiner is also a member of the B-US…more details here:
    This is the third newsletter (2009) of the B-US, and it is quite clear that it loves Karimov like a brother. The address of the society was then Stubbs Hill Farm, Besthorpe, Norfolk, NR17 2LS.

    Which is not the company registration address. Interestingly, another of Newman’s business enterprises, Sea Kinetics Ltd, now dissolved, is registered at the Old Hall Barnham Broom, near Norwich.It’s a long way from the sea. I wonder who else lives at these rather private and secluded addresses? They don’t look like maildrops.

  • Komodo

    Denton Wilde Sapke is a name to conjure with. Hartley Booth is or was recently a senior advisor to this idiosyncratic law firm, which, before it merged with Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal last year to form SNR Denton, had offices or associated local firms in Uzbekistan and Uganda, for instance, but not continental Europe or the US. A weird portfolio. Some have questioned what it is/was up to:

    “It’s hard to know what Dentons stands for,” adds another critic. “What’s going on there?”

  • giles

    Nothing surprising here. This is the nation that is proud of Temur, the ‘megalomaniac’s megalomaniac’ and his towers of skulls. They love a scourge, always have. Unless Karimov starts some serious butchering, he is in danger of losing all respect from Uzbeks.

  • Justin

    Isn’t it time the towns and cities of Uzbekistan had additional statues of Temur mounted with Gulnara? He looks so lonely.

  • Komodo

    And I learn from Debrett’s, in which Hartley Vernon Booth (aka Vernon Hartley Booth) appears, that this Karimov supplicant has written a book on…..extradition law.
    I don’t suppose we will be getting his opinion any time soon on recent Uzbek deportees.

  • Kerim Islamov

    Uzbek Shenanigans

    Metal-Tech Ltd.

    (“Metal-Tech” or “the Company”)

    Update on arbitration case against the Republic of Uzbekistan

    The Company provides an update on its ongoing arbitration case before a Tribunal of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “Tribunal”) against the Republic of Uzbekistan (the “Respondent”).

    As stated previously, Metal-Tech filed a Request for Arbitration against the Republic of Uzbekistan asserting that country’s unlawful treatment of Metal-Tech’s 50% investment in UzMetal-Technology, a joint venture to produce high-quality molybdenum products. The Request for Arbitration, filed with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) based in Washington, D.C., asserted Uzbekistan’s breach of the Israel-Uzbekistan Bilateral Investment Treaty, as well as violations of various standards of treatment under international law and Uzbek legislation.

    The Respondent has requested that the Tribunal defer the hearing currently scheduled to begin on 23 January 2012. The Respondent alleges that it has recently become aware of details concerning a criminal investigation by the Prosecutor General’s Office of several companies and individuals involved in unlawful activities in which Uzbek Government officials, Metal-Tech and Uzmetal have been implicated. The Respondent acknowledges that the full scope of the investigation (which could take several months to complete) and the targets are not known at this time.

    The Company will not only strongly oppose the Respondent’s application to delay the opening of the hearing but will also defend itself vigorously against any such actions if brought.

    As part of its request to delay the hearing, the Respondent alleges that the investigation has uncovered a criminal enterprise involved in kickback payments to individuals that included Government officials and individuals affiliated with Metal-Tech and Uzmetal. The Respondent argues that the Tribunal hearing should be deferred until it has analysed any evidence received from the Prosecutor General’s Office and both parties have had an opportunity to make written submissions.

    Metal-Tech first became aware of the allegations when the Respondent made its request for the hearing to be deferred. Metal-Tech has not been approached by the Prosecutor General’s Office in relation to such allegations. Metal-Tech firmly believes that the Respondent is using delaying tactics and any such allegations may be linked to its bringing of the arbitration proceedings before the Tribunal.

    Further updates will be provided in due course.

  • durak

    Well done Craig.

    Having been in Tashkent the same time as you – and sometimes in the same place (and we are not talking about the Ragu here) I thankfully managed to avoid GooGoosha’s papas tentacles via a judicious usage of naivety and bullshit that I might not get away with today (being older and perhaps wiser).

    Every time you publish you are supporting those who cannot support themselves – they are a fine people the Uzbeks.

    You are a better man than I, Gunga Din.

    Keep up the good work. It does not go unnoticed.


  • Uzbek in the UK

    Well, well. I have just been off for few days with sick with cold and nearly missed heated and so close to my heart debate about west-Uzbekistan relationship.
    As very masterly spotted by Mr Murray, west (US-UK-Germany) have realised that Uzbekistan (and by this I mean Karimov and his gang of murderers and not Uzbekistanis) is more important to them as a friend and not an enemy. The very fact that Karimov survived after the Andijan and kicking out of US forces from K2 and easily shifted his sympathy towards China-Russia demonstrates that he (Karimov) is in stronger position. And as rule of jungle dictates it is not up to the weaker to press any demands. So the West (US-UK) did not put forward any significant demands as they were not in the position to do so. They (West) badly needed a corridor, Karimov was not in badly need of western friendship. He so far was managing to be just fine under Putin/Hu protectorate.
    On the other hand it was naive and somewhat stupid to expect from current US administration or from current UK government to have any kind of slight respect for Human Rights in such far and to many unknown place like Uzbekistan. It is all about neo-colonialism nowadays. Exploitation of Human and natural resources, money laundering, making billions out of financial bubles that what current western democracy is all about.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ John Goss
    It is believed that neither of Karimov’s daughters will inherit his presidency. If only he had a son like Syrian Assad or Azeri Aliev, but God blessed current Karimov’s marriage with only two daughters. Some sources point out that he has a son but from his previous marriage and his son currently lives n Russia and has no relations whatsoever with politics in Uzbekistan.
    Also looking at the history of Soviet dictators and their children it is unlikely that any of Karimov’s daughters will be as successful as their father. Although Uzbekistan is run by Karimov’s brutal force but it is also a conglomerate of ethnic and regional elites. Throughout the history of Uzbek people there have always been a struggle of different regional elites for supremacy or at least for enrichment. It is unlikely that either of Karimov’s daughters with their love to luxury and glamour who by some sources have managed to secure few billion dollars/euros in offshore account around the world will be willing to step in into complicated and somewhat dirty water of Uzbek politics. They are good daughters of their father who ruthlessly exploit Uzbekistan under the protection of their all powerful father BUT as soon as Karimov is out with his legs forward (I think that this is the only way he will leave Uzbek politics) they will be eaten by those who are at present kiss their hands.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Quelcrime
    Yes, Karimov does not smile on the photo but only because in the Central Asia it is a sign of stupidity (when smile is seen on the face of a leader) and weakness. Leaders in Central Asia should be seen as strong and somewhat tyrannical. Smile contradicts this image.
    But does this make Karimov less brutal, less tyrannical? If you think yes, then it is interesting logic you are following.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    To those of you engaged in discussion about his name is actually Islom when read in Uzbek but it is Islam when read in English of Russian. In Uzbek name Islom is spelled with ‘o’ in order to differentiate it from religion. But it is all getting mixed up when the name is spelled in other languages.
    And to make it clear, although there have been some conspiracy theories about him being a Jew, he is actually not. He is a product of Soviet bureaucratic aparat. Until Uzbekistan’s independence he was not even able to speak Uzbek. If you look at his first few years interviews you will realise they all are in either Russian or in Uzbek with Russian accent. He learned Uzbek in order to promote his policy of national determination, but in reality his policy of being independent from Moscow in order to establish his own brutal and unchallenged rule over Uzbekistan.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Turnesol
    To answer your question you need to open a map of Euroasia and find Uzbekistan’s place on it. It will explain you why coalition prefers to sweeten Karimov and not displace him like Gaddafi.
    Uzbekistan is in between Russia and China. Both have claims over Central Asia as their backyard. To make you understand it better here is one good example. When Russia has bitten two regions off Georgia (state in Caucasus) US was not able to do anything to defend Georgia’s territorial integrity, although at that point Georgia was the most pro-American among all post soviet states with exception of Baltic states.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Voila
    As far as I know Gulnara has son Islom Jr and daughter Iman. She has no other son’s but Islom Jr. And as far as I know they both are (or at least were) studying in Switzerland in a very expensive, closed, and elite private school. Although it will not surprise me much if Islom Jr is now at Eton. There he will just be among him alike.
    Mr Murray I agree that they are just children but being 19 Islom Jr is now old enough to understand where are all these money to buy him luxury are coming from. I bet that in either Swiss school or in Eton he has full access to the internet and can read wverything about his mother and granddad.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Jon
    Writing to Uzbek Embassy in London will be as useless as writing to Santa. They do not do anything with any sort of complaints from either Uzbeks or foreigners. The only pressure that would be some use should be from the foreign Embassy or NGO in Uzbekistan or via governmental channels. I know that Amnesty does not have any offices in Uzbekistan but can they at least pressure British government or MPs to raise Malyshev’s case with Uzbek government?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @ Giles
    You are mistaking. Uzbeks are NOT proud of Temur. Karimov is proud of Temur. Karimov has ordered historians in Uzbekistan to portrait Temur in only positive colours. Children from early ages at school learn about great and enlightened empire of Temur about his great rule of law and order. As for absolute majority of these children there is no other information apart from what is written by Uzbek historians on order of Karimov, these children grew up with the view of great hero and father of all Uzbeks Temur.
    Communists in Russia and then USSR used the same methods to promote their own heroes and fathers of the nation.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Those of you who can understand Russian and who is willing to hear about horror in Uzbekistan are welcome to visit this web link

    It is a confession of a criminal who was used by Uzbek police and SNB (former KGB) in order to torture and execute political prisoners, mostly imprisoned on the grounds of religious extremism.

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