I, Umida Berdialieva am a member of the Birdamlik People’s Democratic Movement, which is now the Birdamlik People’s Democratic Party since November 2017. Along with my other associates, on the 14 of November 2018, I made serious preparations to attend the following Congress of the Movement arranged to be held in Shymkent of Kazakhstan. Unexpectedly, around 20:00 hours in the evening, an Agrobank officer Gazal telephoned me on the 12 of November and asked me to urgently bring my passport to them. I told he bank officer that I would not go anywhere in the evening and we did not have a car. She told me not to worry and one of their staff would come to our house and collect my passport if I told her my address, and should I not trust her, they could take me to the bank as well. In a short while, Gazal, who had talked to me on the phone and another bank officer, came to our house. Then they told me that they would take my passport with them and return it on the following day, I disagreed and joined the bank officers to the bank. When we reached the bank Gazal told me that their copying machine stopped working and promised me to bring my passport to me at 07:00 in the following morning and repeatedly asked me to trust her. Against the promise, Gazal did not bring my passport to me either at 07:00 or 09:00 o’clock. I got worried and went to the bank. There, a bank staff told me that Gazal had not come to work yet and I had to wait for him for a long time. He was not coming and when I entered the Agrobank manager’s office to complain about Gazal, and there I saw Gazal himself and a Department of Internal Affairs officer, who I know, both sitting and talking. I immediately realised why they had taken my passport. When he saw me, Gazal went out the manager’s office and proceeded with giving me a report. When I asked Gazal what the DIA officer was doing in the bank from early morning, he tried to beat around bush. As if the DIA officer was in the bank to resolve some sсandal.

It was natural I asked Gazal where my passport was. She started being cunning. By pleading me not to tell her boos, she told me that “he allegedly went to a feast the previous night and her brother brought her home totally drunk, and her raincoat and my passport in her raincoat pocket had been left a that place”. In addition, he told me this like a people’s honourable actor would “act.” Initially, Gazal asked me for a short while, and his brother would bring my passport, although I felt in my heart that he was “playing” again, but I decided to wait for Gazal’s brother, when there was a little hope; but again Gazal did not kept her promise. This bank officer, who could not make his brother do what needed to be done, vanished for full 3 days after taking away my passport. On that day, I had to wait for Gazal for the whole day. Finally, I went to the bank manager’s office and told the manager what his officer had done. The manager behaved as if he had not been aware of anything and started looking for Gazal on the phone as if “really wanted to find him.” Taking the opportunity, I asked the bank manager what the DIA officer had been doing in the bank earlier. It goes without saying he also gave freedom to a session of lies.

So, I had to spend the whole day of the 13 of November in the bank officer in my hope to retrieve my passport by having given away my passport at pressure of a bank officer. On the 14 of November, the chairperson of the local community Otabek Norbekov and his secretary Akram Ergashev, neither of whom would never have come before to ask about the state of affairs, came to see me several times asking “how I was doing.” On that day, the community Chairperson, who would never tell anybody anything wise, gave me genius advice that “the state can pardon everything, even any crime, committed by a person, but would never excuse treachery”…

On the 17 of November, I got my passport back from Gazal. While returning my document to me he as if unintentionally asked a question if I were going anywhere on those days. In our Uzbekistan, anybody sitting in a position can easily interrogate ordinary people.

In reality, this “measure” was performed at the initiative of the Head of the DIA of Kitab district Shuhrat Ibragimov upon orders from the NSS. For avoidance of getting a bad reputation and being ashamed in the eyes of international community in case something went wrong, they arranged it in cooperation with Agrobank. Already on the day of 13 of November, I had realised that this was a normal situation for our society, who run their life in accordance with lies, cheats, and cunning threats. While taking somebody’s passport as a lien using lies is a crime in the rest of the world, I got thoroughly aware that it is not a crime for our law enforcement bodies, who commit this crime in cooperation.

Umida Berdialieva,

Member of the Central Committee

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