To: Mr. John Kerry, US State Secretary AN OPEN LETTER
Dear Mr. Kerry! August 4, 2016 I am Bokhodir Choriyev, leader of the “Birdamlik” People’s Democratic Movement, have been living in the USA with my family since February 10th, 2005, when I was granted political asylum by the US government. After I arrived in the USA, I tried to continue my political activities and am still continuing it currently. When I started my activities, I hoped to get some support, material aid from the US government and return to my motherland Uzbekistan and wanted to run peaceful and nonviolent fight against a world’s worst dictator Islam Karimov’s regime.
Unfortunately, my hopes did not yet materialize. No organization in the USA, who I had approached, gave a positive response to me. Then, I decided to continue my political activities based on my own efforts, my family budget and monthly wages.
At 2008 USA presidential elections I supported Barak Obama’s candidacy with good intention and hopes. After he was elected, Mr. Obama appointed Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State. I was glad of this appointment. I approached Mrs. Clinton several times with letters for information and idea exchange about the situation in Uzbekistan. But I all my efforts were in vain. We were very disappointed by Mrs. Clinton‘s indifference to the activities of Uzbek opposition and her secret arrangement with dictator I. Karimov.
Later on, Mr. Kerry, you were appointed to the position of the head of the US State Department. We were very much pleased for your appointment. But our joy did not last for long, because you also elected Hillary Clinton’s way and did not attempt for support the Uzbek opposition. On the contrary, you indifferently watched how Uzbek opposition was disappearing and continued supporting the enemy of the nation Islam Karimov. All my attempts to meet you were unsuccessful.
“The Birdamlik” People’s Democratic Movement that I founded on April 10, 2004 has been active and which I am still the leader of, has been acting without a penny support from any grants or aid money from US government or any other governments and organizations. After all our approaches to you for getting support had proven unsuccessful and while the number of the PDM “Birdamlik” members and activities kept growing and the amount of money that I had been allocating for the activities of the Movement from my family budget was not sufficient, in 2011 I personally initiated and founded the “Kesh” Transport Company. “Kesh” developed fast. Owing to its successful operations, the amount of money allocated for material aid to activists of opposition and independent journalists kept growing. In 2013, “Kesh” Transport Company trucks were part of the protest demonstration opposite the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Washington, which we organized without any queue and permit against imprisonment and for support of my father Hasan Choriev at false and slander accusations. During that demonstration, I and one of our activists were arrested, and they temporarily confiscated my truck. In one or two months after that, DOT staff on US roads started stopping and checking “Kesh” Transport Company Trucks with and without any reason at any spot. Due to such checks “Kesh” Transport Company rating dropped seriously and it went bankrupt and the IRS imposed a little less than $800,000,00 debt on me. Although, I later proved the groundlessness of such debt by a third party auditor, who I contracted for such audit for $2500,00, the authorities have not yet cancelled this debt.
For the purposes of reviving material assistance to civil society members that had been stopped earlier, in 2014 I and my spouse Feruza Khurramovamova founded Happy Planet Inc non profit company. The main objective of “Happy planet” was rendering material assistance to Uzbek opposition activists, independent journalists and human rights activists, who found themselves in economic difficulties. It took me and my wife Feruza Khanum two years and allocation of over $90,000,00 from our family budget for setting “Happy Planet” into operations. In spring 2016, “Happy Planet” that is intended for collection of used clothing and shoes, which is given to it as charity, managed to prepare over 40 000 lbs. (around 20 Tons) of used clothing and shoes at our rented warehouse. While we were doing this, the Fire Department of Foristell City, Missouri, started requiring build Firewall inside of our rented warehouse that were not needed in reality, at the building that we were renting. At their Firewall, we were to spend additional expenditure of $24,000,00. But we were unable to source such amount of funds. As a result, the Foristell City Fire Department banned us to enter and carry out any activities in the building. This, we could not access the building, which we were renting. The goods, which we had prepared for sales were plundered and destroyed by the owner of the building. Our attempts to find a warehouse building in other places were unsuccessful. Wherever we applied, we got refusal. Our second business in the USA ended with such a failure. We got bankrupted for the second time.
We are of the opinion that the staff of the US Department of State, which is headed by you, has direct association with the fact of bankruptcy of our two aforementioned business companies. The reason to this is the secret arrangement of former US Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton with official Tashkent, personally with dictator Islam Karimov against the interests of Uzbek people, democratic values, and we think that the aim of this agreement was to achieve putting an end to the democratic movement in and outside Uzbekistan that is in opposition to Karimov’s regime.
Today I no longer wish to set up any business affairs in the USA. For I am afraid of your illegal actions!
I want to take of part the collected used clothing, shoes and the clothing collection drop boxes, related to Happy Planet Inc non profit company to you on my own truck. I demand from you – bureaucrats to take a look at the goods and help me take these goods to the final destination – the trash dump!
I demand you to render direct assistance to the “Kumak Markazi” (Assistance center), which was set up to render comprehensive help to the activists of Uzbek democratic opposition, independent journalists and Human rights activists, who have been led to a difficult situation.
Leader of “Birdamlik” People’s Democratic Movement