Belarus and Uzbekistan update
3rd May 2006
1. West is “counterproductive” on Belarus, says Russian Foreign
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West that
Russia cannot agree with or support its isolation of Alexander
Lukashenko. Meanwhile, Putin and Lukashenko have met yet again. A
Russian opposition politician would prefer them to see each other
during walks around the prison in the Hague....
2. Milinkievich jailed
Last month’s main opposition presidential candidate Alexander
Milinkievich has been jailed for 15 days for organising an
3. Opposition rally takes place
on Chernobyl anniversary
The regular Chernobyl anniversary rally by the opposition took place
on 26th April, with numerous arrests by the authorities, including
that of Milinkievich himself.
4. Pollster questions size of
A polling station outlawed in Belarus has said that Alexander
Lukashenko probably only received about 63% of the vote on 19th
March, though the Central Election Commission awarded him 83%. It
says the appetite for change is probably being underestimated by the
authorities and overestimated by the opposition, with the main
source of discontent being the rising percentage of the population
adversely affected by government crackdowns.
5. Press crackdown continues
6. Belarus boosts ties with
Iran, equips itself with missile system from Russia, attracts
Chinese investment, strengthens ties with Cuba
Numerous examples of the enhanced cooperation between human rights
7. Deputy Foreign Minister visits Germany to commemorate
Belarusian WW2 dead
In what seems to be a violation of the EU travel ban on members of
the Belarusian government, the Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister
took part in a world war two commemoration ceremony in Germany.
A list of political prisoners
taken in the immediate aftermath of the Belarusian election is now
3rd May 2006
1. Eight Uzbeks jailed for illegal religious activity
http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/04/21/uzbeki13240.htm4. Uzbek president complains of
information war by the West
The suspects’ confessions were apparently obtained under torture.
2. UNHCR leaves Uzbekistan
3. Torture still used in
Uzbekistan: and Germany should have detained Uzbek Interior Minister
The UN rapporteur on torture has said that use of torture is still
widespread in Uzbekistan and that Germany should have detained the
Uzbek Interior Minister when he visited Germany for health treatment
recently. Firstly, German law on crimes against humanity allows it
the country to detain people suspected of having committed the crime
outside the country. Secondly, it is within Germany’s duty as a
signatory to the UN Convention on Torture.
According to President Karimov, the decision by the World Bank to
stop lending money to Uzbekistan is part of an orchestrated campaign
to meddle in Uzbekistan’s affairs under the guise of promoting
democracy, saying that the West had been fooled into thinking that
those who died in Andijon were protesting economic conditions,
whereas in fact they were terrorists and bandits.
An interesting insight into how a tyrant’s mind works, if nothing
Russia, Belarus, and Uzbekistan
3rd May 2006
1. Press freedom in former Soviet Union under assault
Freedom House’s study "Freedom of the Press 2006: A Global Survey of
Media Independence," has noted a long-term pattern of decline in the
Former Soviet Union, with Russia very much in reverse gear. This
concurs with a similar study a few months ago by IREX.