Thursday, 13 January 2011

Muslims Being Tortured in Uzbek Jails

Muslims Face Horrific Torture in Jails

By Pavol Stracansky

PRAGUE, Jan 11, 2011 (IPS) - Muslims are facing a dark future of repression and torture in Uzbekistan for years to come as the government’s relentless campaign of religious suppression continues.

At least 39 people were tortured to death last year in prisons, according to the Independent Human Rights Defenders Group (IHRDG) in Uzbekistan - a rise from 20 recorded the previous year.

IHRDG says that the torture has become steadily worse in recent years, and activists warn that the real number of those tortured to death is probably much higher as authorities cover up inmates’ abuse by sending bodies back to families in sealed coffins. Relatives of the dead are wary of reporting incidents.

Religious prisoners are also now facing the prospect of being interred for life as unilateral extra-judicial orders are handed down to extend their jail terms indefinitely, rights campaigners say.

The dictatorial regime, led by President Islam Karimov who has ruled the central Asian nation since its independence from the Soviet Union, shows no signs of letting up in its persecution of any religious groups it sees as a potential threat to its power.

Alisher Ilkhamov who works on Uzbek issues for the Open Society Foundation in London told IPS: "The torture of religious prisoners is constant and I don’t see any hope for improvement in the coming years. Muslims will continue to be repressed for a long time into the future, I have no illusions over that."

Karimov’s regime has long been held by the international community as having one of the world’s worst records on human rights.

Brutal state suppression of civil society has been well documented over the last almost two decades. The UN has described use of torture by law enforcement officials, many of whom were schooled under the KGB when the country was part of the Soviet Union, as widespread and systematic.

In at least one case it was found that a prisoner had been boiled to death, and horrific abuse of inmates at the Zhaslyk prison in the remote northwest of the country – described as a post-Soviet gulag and one of the worst jails in the world by some activists – has also been recorded.
Activists working in Uzbekistan say that people arrested or convicted on charges related to religious offences – almost always falsely - are facing the worst of the torture.

One activist working in Uzbekistan, who asked not to be named, told IPS: "I have spoken to dozens of relatives of people in prison following trumped-up charges of religious extremism who have told me, in great detail, of the torture they have suffered in prison.

"It does seem that people in prison for religious extremism charges make up a disproportionate amount of those suffering torture."

Independent verification of many such reports is almost impossible as the state keeps severe restrictions on independent access to prisoners.

Much information on the abuses suffered by prisoners comes from their relatives speaking to rights groups. They have now revealed a new method of suppression by the state as prisoners are handed down extensions to original sentences that will see them kept in jail until the end of their lives.

One activist told IPS: "What we have heard is that the authorities are unilaterally extending the sentences of religious prisoners. Some who have been in prison for ten years or so whose terms are ending are having them extended, without trial, by authorities and their relatives are saying that the prisoners are being told‚ ‘you will die here in jail‘."

Tashkent has justified its more than decade-long campaign of suppression of religious groups by claiming it is trying to combat the dangers of religious extremism.

More than 90 percent of the country’s 28 million population is estimated to be Muslim. The state controls practice of Islam strictly through a network of state-approved Muslim groups and places of worship. The same is true for the roughly five percent of Uzbeks who are Christian.

Many rights groups say the real reason for control is a fear of the threat a strong Muslim community could pose to the regime.

"The government sees the Muslim community as its biggest potential threat. Muslim clerics and leaders have the potential to mobilise a large number of people. In the past some have drawn crowds of thousands at talks and meetings," said Ilkhamov.

Mass, closed trials of people arrested on religious extremism charges are not uncommon, and one such trial last month saw 19 people sentenced to jail.

Activists also say that the state’s suppression of religious groups as well as restricting other basic freedoms is merely fuelling a growth of non state- approved religious communities, and potentially pushing some to radical groups.

"The lack of any alternative space for an outlet for expression, combined with repression, provides a potentially fertile ground for extremism. People are thrown into prison and labelled as religious extremists and end up sometimes being forced to join those very extremists just for protection," one activist said.

"And prisons are known to have become recruiting grounds for extremist groups," he added.

International and local rights monitors have warned for years that Tashkent’s repressions could drive people into membership of some of the militant religious groups known to be operating in Uzbekistan and the rest of Central Asia.

Local Muslim scholars have warned publicly of such dangers and appealed to Karimov to hold open religious discussions rather than persecute worshippers and take a heavy-handed approach to extremist groups.
Meanwhile, rights campaigners are dismayed at the approach of western governments to the continuing torture of prisoners and rights abuses by Tashkent.

The country’s geopolitical importance has given rise to what one activist described to IPS as Karimov’s power to "bully Western governments into turning a blind eye to the bad parts of his regime."

One senior official at a western rights organisation told IPS: "The torture situation is already atrocious and what is seriously concerning to human rights groups is that the growing close relationship between the U.S., EU and Uzbekistan, driven by its strategic position along supply lines needed for troops in Afghanistan, is overshadowing a long history of human rights abuses which could lead to a further deterioration in human rights."

10 comments:

The Fat Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fat Man said...

Muslim's being tortured? This has to be happening in some ZIONIST jail, or in some US Crusader prison like Getmo?

Oh wait no it's happening in what according to the CIA world fact book is,"Muslim 88% (mostly Sunnis), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%."

Eighty Eight percent Muslim!!! Well then it must be done by the 9 percent Eastern Orthodox Christians that control the nation?

"The dictatorial regime, led by President Islam Karimov"

Well this is a bad. Must be Muslim supported by the US.

"The United States' humanitarian and technical assistance to Uzbekistan has decreased markedly since 2004, both as a result of government actions against U.S. implementing partners and U.S"

Source

It must be those BILLIONS of American ZIONIST dollars that support this, those evil Americans.

"Starting in 2004, the Secretary of State has been unable to certify that Uzbekistan has met its obligations under the bilateral 2002 Strategic Framework Agreement. As a result, U.S. assistance declined to approximately $20 million in FY 2006."

Same source as above

Well it must be that evil zionist US PEACE CORP that...
"Peace Corps Volunteers were active in English teaching, small business development, public health, and women's issues."

Oh those EVIL ZIONIST, yes this must be the reason but wait...
"However, Uzbekistan failed to renew visas for Peace Corps volunteers in 2005, ending the Peace Corps presence in the country."

Why oh why is this happening to a country that is 88% SUNNI MUSLIMS. It must be the US military presence, those evil Zionist Crusader Christains using Muslim lands to kill peacful Muslims in Afgan and Iraq.

July 30th 2005
"Uzbekistan formally evicted the United States yesterday from a military base that has served as a hub for combat and humanitarian missions to Afghanistan since shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001"
Source Washington Post

The Fat Man said...

Part 2
So let's review

Muslims are being tortured in a nation who's population is 88 percent MUSLIM.

The leader's first name is ISLAM

United States Military presence has been EVICTED.

US Peace CORP has been EVICTED

US aid has been reduced to 20 Million. (pennies)

So what is the cause of MUSLIMS TORTURING MUSLIMS?

You don't have to look any further then the Presidents First Name. ISLAM!!!

The greatest weapon against Muslims is Islam. The greatest weapon against Islam is Muslims"

ALLAH AKBAR

Ibn said...

I think Fatman was foaming at the mouth when writing his latest drivel.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of Allah, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

Finally the fatman says something intelligent.

Absolutely the U.S doesn't support Uzbekistan, It is in the BRICS (Brazil, Russaia, India, China, South Africa) sphere of influence.

In particular I think the Russo's and the Chinese have made it pretty clear that if America goes barking in their back yard they would make pretty short work of us.

However, if you would love to see some countries where U.S tax pay dollars is increasing, and where we are helping to oppress and Kill Muslim civilans well fatman look no further than Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt...

Than of course of soverign Lord (Israel) which according to Dennis Miller America must be tied to at all cost.

"IF they attack Iran were gonna have to back their play" ... Really? WE MUST back their play?

Dennis Miller we can see where his loyalties are.

When will the America first crowd stand up. I am waiting.

Anonymous said...

So sad

Let us pray that the situation improves for the people of Uzbekistan. InsAllah it will.

Yahya Snow said...

Fatman,

What does it matterwho the torture is being carried out by? Surely torture is reprehensible no matter who metes it out...

You seem to revel in the fact this post does not involve Americans or zionists. Do you want me to show you instances of torture perpetrated by those who you align yourself with?

RefutingActs17 said...

='(

Really sad to see this happening. I know Wikileaks just recently found India's army responsible for the torture of 140+ Kashmiris. Insh'Allah things will be ok soon.

The Fat Man said...

@Yayha Snow...

"What does it matterwho the torture is being carried out by?"

Actually sir it doesn't matter to me one way of the other.

US tortures Muslims.
Israel tortures Muslims.
Muslims torture Muslims.

So if the Zionist Crusader's weren't torturing Muslims; Muslims would still be torturing Muslims.

Tashkent Uzbekistan said...

I have lived in uzbekistan for 18 years and on 10 December 2009 was kidnapped by uzbekistan intelligence agency's officials. I was detained for 124 days and inspite of being foreigner they never acknowledged my detention. Thanks to the efforts of some friends I am alive. In uzbekistan Torturing, Killing, Detaining, Boiling alive are every day stories for the Uzbek nation which has accepted such events as the acts of their fate. Islam karimov and his snb will keep on doing what they are good at and the USA and Europe will keep flirting and pumping tax payers money to the regime which is much worse than Saddams Iraq.