Saturday, May 21, 2005

Our Friendly Dictator in Uzbekistan

Michael Gawenda - Why the U.S. is virtually silent on the brutal killing of at least 700 Uzbek protesters

Uzbekistan is a strong ally of the US -which has given Uzbekistan more than $US200 million ($265 million) in four years in military aid as part of the war on terrorism. It is therefore not surprising the Bush Administration remained silent for almost a week before it expressed any concern about the violence and deaths in Uzbekistan in the past week or so.

Eight days ago and for the three following days, Uzbek security forces killed between 700 and 1500 protesters, including women and children, in the eastern city of Andijan and in the surrounding towns near the border with Kyrgyzstan.

There have been enough witness accounts to suggest security forces gunned down unarmed protesters, many as they tried to flee, and that women and children were not spared. There have been reports that the security forces moved through the panic-stricken protesters and killed the wounded. Some witnesses claim women and children killed by the security forces were buried in mass graves.

Even conservative commentators close to the Bush Administration believe the protesters are, in the main, Muslim moderates and secular human rights activists....


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