The last few days of August 2016 were very worrying for the 31 million population of Uzbekistan, who were about to celebrate the 25th anniversary of country’s independence. The cause of worry was the announcement by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan on August 28 about aggravation of the health and hospitalisation of the president of the country. Their worry was culminated after Lola Karimova-Tillaeva, younger daughter of the president, Uzbekistan representative at UNESCO, posted in her Instagram page that her father had been hospitalised with a diagnosis of cerebral haemorrhage, that his condition was poor and it would require some time to recover, particularly, she asked everybody to pray for the president’s health.
The very appeal of L. Karimova-Tillaeva to her compatriots via a social network split the Uzbek people into two camps, i.e., defenders of the “creator of the independent and well established motherland” and “the victims of the oppressor king, who ruled Uzbekistan with his iron fists”. This post resulted in the entire world to once again pay attention to our Uzbekistan and the fate of its leader Islam Karimov. Thus, we had endless streams of so much conflicting and negating each other news in social networks and mass media.
Some mass media unit announced that Islam Karimov died on August 29 at 18:35 local time in Tashkent Lunacharskoe Hospital, another one said that some Russian doctors were trying to cure our country leader and he was recovering up, and other similar news were spread.
The most interesting thing here was that while foreign mass media were announcing the death of Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan mass media broadcast I. Karimov’s Independent Day speech to the Nation. UZTv endlessly recited the congratulation letters from the leaders of different countries to our president. In other words the nation was so much puzzled by different content news about life and health of Islam Karimov and did not know who to believe and was left at their wits end. Official Tashkent did not officially let the nation know either death or life of I. Karimov and really aggravated everybody…
Whatever it is, it looks that at last the activities of Islam Karimov, who had been ruling Uzbekistan since 1991, when the country was split from the Soviet Union and declared independence. Let’s take a look at the activities of Islam Karimov at this instance. In reality, he had been leading Uzbekistan before declaring independence. For the time over a quarter of a century of his ruling, he tried every aspect of tyranny in his work. Karimov applied injustice at the presidential elections, held in the country for the first time. Human Right Watch classified his “victory” as “gained by serious violations of law”. At his own initiative, Karimov held a referendum in the country. According to the results of this referendum, he managed to extend the presidential term, which enabled him to be elected president for the third time. The following two elections were held in violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
While his ruling Uzbekistan, Karimov created a political abyss vacuum. He managed to make totally impossible for any opposition to run their activities freely, and got them killed if required. By the beginning of 2000’s all opposition members had been either driven out of the country, or imprisoned or killed. Different assassinations had been arranged against the lives of those, who had left the country. Failing this, the lives of relatives of the refugees, who had to stay in the country, had been threatened. The slander accusations against and imprisonment of Hasan Choriev, father of Bakhodir Choriyev, who has to live in USA, leader of “Birdamlik” People’s Democratic Movement, an outstanding politician, statesman, and other numerous cases can be given as examples to the statement.
Today, about ten thousand political prisoners are kept in prisons of Uzbekistan. According to Steve Sverdlov, Human Rights Watch specialist for Central Asia, most of these have been sentenced to prison at false accusations on their relationship with Islamic extremist groups. International human rights organisations note regular tortures of prisoners in prisons of Uzbekistan.
Unemployment has been taken to its climax. This resulted in people, mainly youth, having to labour migrate to near and far foreign countries. According to unofficial information, about 5 million Uzbek labour migrants currently work in foreign countries to earn their bread.
Use of child labour, inherited from the Soviet Union era, has not been stopped; on the contrary it has been extended. Millions of school children and other youth have to leave schools and work places to be involved in forced work of picking cotton every year. Country’s economy has been brought into deep crisis; the welfare of population has dropped seriously.
Today, Uzbekistan is one the most corrupted dictatorship countries. Bribery is at its climax in the country. Bribery has covered practically all fields of life. Currently, many citizens of the Soviet Union, which had collapsed in 1991 and no longer exists in the world, have to live in the non-citizenship status in Uzbekistan. According to unofficial information, these people make up as many as one million and they are mainly Uzbeks by nationality. Why these people have not been given Uzbekistan citizenship during Karimov’s ruling has been left unanswered.
During his reign, Karimov did not let establishment of political elite. Thus, this issue is also left open. However, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, if an emergency occurs in the country, if the president has bad health or if there are other reasons, the Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall take the office of ruling the country for three months until presidential elections are held. On the basis of Article 93 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, on January 22, 2015, at the first meeting of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, the president proposed the candidate of Nig’matilla Yuldashev to the Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan. By ballot voting of the members of the Senate, Mr Yuldashev was elected Chairman of the Senate. But, the general public does not know much about N. Yuldashev. Therefore, at the moment, the specialists are thinking of the probability of 3 candidates for replacement of Karimov in the country: Shavkat Mirziyayev, Prime Minister, Rustam Azimov, First Deputy Prime Minister or Rustam Inoyatov, Chairman of State Security Service while noting that the following elections would have predicted results if they are again held full of falsifications.
“Birdamlik” People’s Democratic Movement advocates ensuring of participation of opposition parties and movements, that the elections to be held democratically and in adherence to international requirements. If this is allowed in Uzbekistan, it would be the first time in its history to hold just elections, and in our turn, we will have the legal right of naming our candidates to presidential elections. For only the victory of justice can ensure Uzbekistan to face the progress.
Board of “Birdamlik” People’s Democratic Movement.