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No More Andijans! Stop the Sale of Military Hardware to Uzbekistan!

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According to “The Times” (Feb 8.2103), the British Ministry of Defence plans to sell military hardware leftover from Afghanistan that is not worth repatriating to Britain to Uzbekistan.

We were surprised that the British government considered only narrow financial and geostrategic considerations in this regard, and not legitimate human rights concerns.

It has also come to light that Uzbekistan is seeking to buy combat equipment, including armoured vehicles and military helicopters from the U.S., UK and Germany.

In what military campaign will Uzbekistan use these weapons systems?

History shows that the Karimov regime had no compunction against using military vehicles and helicopters against its own people. According to various independent sources, between 500 and 700 people, including women and children, were killed when government forces shot into crowds of peaceful protesters in Andijan in May 2005.  The government troops deployed Soviet-made armoured personnel carriers (BTR), while a reconnaissance helicopter was used to define targets before the massacre.

Should new mass protests break out in Uzbekistan, which is becoming more likely every day due to the Uzbek population’s growing discontent with Islam Karmov’s corrupt and repressive regime, there is no doubt that military equipment will again be used against civilians. Whatever promises it makes to Western governments, this time the ruling regime will most certainly employ any military equipment sold to Uzbekistan by Britain, the U.S. or Germany should it see fit to do so.  Should this happen, the responsibility for a new massacre will have to be shared by the governments of the countries that supplied these weapons. If at new tragedy happens, the personalities who initiated this trade deal, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Minister Philip Hammond, should share responsibility for the outcomes of their decision.

It is still not too late to stop these deals. We, therefore, call upon the members of the British Parliament to disapprove of any sale of weapons systems to Uzbekistan and to appoint a commission that would consider the range of the proposed arms and military equipment for sale to determine whether it can be used against civilians.

We urge the U.S. government and the government of Germany to take similar measures to prevent the sale of lethal or dual-use military equipment to Uzbekistan.

The governments of these three countries have to prioritise human rights concerns when considering the sale of weapons to Uzbekistan’s authoritarian regime, which is known for its dire human rights record and total disregard for the lives of ordinary people.

 

Signatories,

Uzbekistan 

1. Nadejda Atayeva, President, Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, France.

2. Jodgor Obid, Poet, Member of the International Pen Club, Austria.

3. Dilarom Iskhakova, Poetess, Uzbekistan

4. Ismail Dadajanov, Chairman, Democratic Forum of Uzbekistan, Sweden

5. Sanjar Umarov, Leader, Coalition “Sunshine Uzbekistan”, USA

6. Mukhammad Salikh, Leader, “Erk” Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, Norway

7. Nigara Khidoyatova, Political figure, Uzbekistan

8. Abdujalil Boymatov, Chairman, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Ireland

9. Alisher Taksanov, Independent Journalist, Switzerland

10. Bashorat Eshova, Coordinator, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Switzerland

11. Sergey Ignatyev, Coordinator, Project “Arts and Human Rights”, AHRCA, USA

12. Natalya Bushuyeva, Editor-in-Chief, Radio Programme “SOS”, AHRCA, Sweden

13. Kudrat Babajanov, Journalist, Sweden

14. Gulshan Karayeva, Chairperson, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan in the Qashqadarya province, Uzbekistan

15. Tulkin Karaev, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Sweden

16. Khusan Temirov, Human Rights Defender for freedom of conscience, Sweden

17. Mukhiddin Kurbanov, International Organisation of Human Rights Activists, Sweden

18. Daniel Anderson, Political refugee, Norway

19. David Anderson, Political refugee, Norway

20. Avaz Fayazov, International Organisation, “Human Rights Defenders”, Sweden

21. Bayramali Yusupov, Political refugee, Denmark

22. Rafik Ganiev, Human Rights Society “Ezgulik”, Sweden

23. Nabidjan Narbutayev, Political Party “Birlik”, Sweden

24. Mukhammadsalikh Abutov, Organisation “Tayanch”, Sweden

25. Khusniddin Kutbiddinov, Independent journalist, Uzbekistan

26. Ulugbek Khaydarov, Journalist, Laureate of the Hellman – Hammett international human rights award, Canada

27. Shukhrat Ganiev, Director, Humanitarian Legal Centre, Coordinator of the Central Asian network of protection of human rights defenders, Uzbekistan

28. Khatam Khadjimatov, Human Rights defender, Norway

29. Ulugbek Zaynabitdinov, Political Party “Birlik”, Sweden

30. Mirakhmat Muminov, Human Rights Defender for freedom of conscience, USA

31. Farkhodkhon Mukhtarov, Member, Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan

32. Oleg Sarapulov, Member, Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan

33. Dilora Rakhimova, Human Rights Defender, Sweden

34. Alisher Abidov, Citizen of Uzbekistan

35. Zulfia Abidova, Citizen of Uzbekistan

36. Abbos Ikramov, Citizen of Uzbekistan

37. Nazim Khodjiev, Citizen of Uzbekistan

38. Sabir Makhkamov, Citizen of Uzbekista

39. Bakhodir Kadyrov, Citizen of Uzbekistan

40. Umid Dekhkanbayev, Citizen of Uzbekistan

41. Akmal Jamalov, Citizen of Uzbekistan

42. Davron Muminov, Citizen of Uzbekistan

43. Mukhabbat Pozilova, Citizen of Uzbekistan

44. Tashpulat Yuldashev, Political Scientist, USA

45. Darya Episova, Independent Journalist, USA

46. Atkham Shaymardanov, Ecologist and Human Rights Defender, Uzbekistan

47. Akhmadjon Normirzayev, Human Rights Defender, Uzbekistan

48. Elena Bondar, Independent Journalist, Uzbekistan

49. Salomatoy Boymatova, Member, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan

50. Abdulkosim Mamarasulov, Human Rights Defender, Jazzakh province

51. Lutfullo Shamsutdinov, Chairman, Andijan branch, Independent Human Rights Organization of Uzbekistan (IHROU)

52. Nodir Akhatov, Chairman, Qarshi city branch, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan

Russia

53. Dmitriy Belomestnov, Representative, Association for Human Rights in Central Asia in Russia

54. Sergey Kovalev, Chairman, Executive Board, Russia’s “Memorial” Society, Member of the Executive Board of the “Memorial” International Society, Moscow

55. Lev Ponomaryov, Professor, Executive Director, All-Russian movement “For Human Rights”, Moscow

56. Evgeniy Ikhlov, Responsible Secretary, Public Expert Board of the All-Russian movement “For Human Rights”, Moscow

57. Priest Gleb Yakunin, Public Committee “For Freedom of Conscience”, Moscow

58. Valentin Gefter, General Director, Human Rights Institute, Moscow

59. Elena Ryabinina, Head, Programme “Right to Asylum” Human Rights Institute, Moscow

60. Gleb Kirillov, Kostroma Regional Branch, All-Russian Public Movement “For Human Rights”, Kostroma

61. Alexander Podrabinek, former political prisoner, human rights defender, journalist, Moscow

62. Daniil Kislov, Editor-in-Chief, International Information Agency “Ferghana.Ru”


Azerbaijan

63. Leyla Yunus, Peace and Democracy Institute, Baku

64. Khikmet Khadjizade, FAR Centre, Baku

65. Matanat Azizova, Women’s Crisis Centre, Baku

66. Khafiz Safikhanov, Chairman, Non-governmental Association “Azerbaijan Campaign Against Mines”

67. Zakhir Amanov, newspaper “Janub Heberleri”

68. Rasul Jafarov, Human Rights Club

69. Ilgar Gasimov, ”Legal Aid”, Lenkoran city

70. Mekhman Aliyev, News Agency “Turan”

71. Anar Mamedli, Election Monitoring and Democracy Training Centre

72. Mirvari Gabramanli, Organisation for Protection of the Rights of Oil Workers

73. Elchin Bekhbudov, Zerbaijan Committee Against Torture

74. Intigam Aliyev, Legal Education Centre

75. Leyla Aliyeva, Strategic and International Studies Centre

76. Khilal Mamedov, newspaper “Tolishi Sado”

77. Emin Guseinov, Freedom and Security for Reporters Institute

78. Annaji Khasibeyli, Association of Lawyers of Azerbaijan

79. Alekper Mamedov, Centre for Democratic and Civil Control over Military Forces

80. Shakir Agayev, Newspaper “Novoye Vremya”

Armenia

81. Mikael Danielyan, Head, Armenian Helsinki Committee, Erevan

Germany

82. Bernhard Clasen, Journalist

Kazakhstan

83. Zauresh Battalova, President, Public Foundation “Parliamentarianism Development in Kazakhstan”, Astana city

84. Bakhytzhan Toregozhina, President, Public Foundation “Ar.Ruh,Hak”, Almaty city

85. Galym Ageleulov, President, Public Foundation, “Liberty”, Almaty city

86. Lukpana Akhmedyarov, Editor-in-Chief, Newspaper “Uralskaya Nedelya”, Uralsk city

87. Baktygul Kanatov, Director, Public Foundation “For Justice”, Aktobe city

88. Amangeldy Shomanbayev, Human Rights Defender, Almaty city

89. Askar Shaygumarov, Human Rights Defender, Non-governmental Association “Western Kazakhstan Union of Orphanage Inmates”, Uralsk city

90. Kseniya Ermaganbetova, Human Rights Defender, Acting Director, NGO “Dialogue Plus”, Karaganda city

91. Aytkozha Fazylova, Public figure, Karaganda city

92. Roslana Taukina, Director, Foundation “Journalisti v Bede” (Journalists in Trouble), Almaty city

93. Irina Savostina, Chairperson, Pensioners’ Movement Regional Non-governmental Association “Generation”, Almaty city

94. Ramzan Esergepov, Chairman, Executive Board, Non-Governmental Foundation “Journalists in Trouble”, Almaty city

95. Dametken Alenova, Chairperson, Public Association “Women’s Movement of Kazakhstan”, Almaty city

96. Fatima Djandosova, Development Director, Magazine “Umniye veshchi” (Smart Things), Almaty city

Kyrgyzstan

97. Sardar Bagishbekov, Chairman, Non-governmental Foundation “Voice of Freedom”www.vof.kg, Bishkek city

Norway

98. Adam Arvigson, citizen of Norway

99. Bjorn Eriksson, citizen of Norway

100. Knut Koasa, citizen of Norway

101. Kjol Peterson, citizen of Norway

Poland

102. Ludmila Kozlowska, President, “Open Dialogue” Foundation

Turkmenistan

103. Farid Tukhbatullin, Chairperson, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR), Austria

104. Vyacheslav Mamedov, Chairman, Democratic Civil Union of Turkmenistan, The Netherlands

105. Timur Misrikhanov, Chairperson, Union of Independent Lawyers of Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

106. M. Sharifi, Human Rights Defender

107. Gulnora Ravshan, Journalist

Ukraine

108. Oleksiy Tolkachov, President, European Association of Ukrainians, Kiev

France

109. Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Russian poetess, translator, Human Rights Defender, former political prisoner, Participantsof the Dissident Movement of the USSR

110. Hadijat Gadaeva, Human Rights Defender