Aug 072009

One Of The ‘World’s Worst Daughters’

August 07, 2009
After running last week a list of the worst-behaved sons of world leaders, “Foreign Policy” magazine this week looks at the daughters.

Leading the way is Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova, who was also appointed as the country’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva:

[B]ack home, Karimova is likely being groomed as successor to her brutal dictator father and has used his influence to amass her own formidable financial holdings.

The consequences of crossing Karimova became clear in 2001 when she divorced her husband, an Afghan-American businessman with extensive holdings in Uzbekistan, and took their children out of the United States in violation of a court order. The unfortunate ex-husband’s Coca-Cola bottling factory in Uzbekistan was promptly shut down, three of his relatives were imprisoned, and 24 were deported at gunpoint to Afghanistan. In 2006, Karimova, whose business interests include most of Uzbekistan’s tea industry, reportedly sent hooded men with machine guns to shut down a rival company and liquidate their holdings.

She also has a burgeoning music career.

— Luke Allnutt

Posted At: 07 August 12:39

Aug 042009

Uzbekistan: Human right defender Dilmurod Sayid sentenced to 12.5 years of imprisonment

Posted on 2009/08/04

Uzbek human rights defender, Mr Dilmurod Sayid, was sentenced to 12.5 years of imprisonment on 30 July 2009, following a procedurally flawed trial which had allegedly been instigated by politically-motivated charges.

Further Information

Dilmurod Sayid is an activist of the Tashkent regional branch of the human rights society “Ezgulik”. Prior to his trial, he wrote as independent journalist for the internet site, “Voice of Freedom,” and also defended the rights of farmers in the Samarkand region, whose lands have been illegally seized by the local administration. Front Line previously issued an urgent appeal concerning the trial of Dilmurod Sayid on 24 February 2009.

On 30 July 2009, the Tailak Distict court of Uzbekistan sentenced Dimurod Sayid to 12.5 years of imprisonment under Articles 165 (extortion) and 228 (forgery) of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan. The verdict was passed behind closed doors and neither his lawyer, Ruhiddin Komilov, his public defender, Abdurakhman Tashanov, nor his family members had been informed of the trial date in advance.

On 22 February 2009, Dilmurod Sayid was arrested at his home on charges of extortion by the Tashkent branch of the State Tax Committee, under orders from the General Prosecutor’s Office of Uzbekistan.

Following numerous inconsistencies in the investigation and violations of fair trial standards in which court hearings were repeatedly conducted without notice to defence lawyer, the trial began in June 2009.

During the trial several key witnesses withdrew their testimonies and stated that they had been pressurised into giving false evidence against Dilmurod Sayid, however the state prosecutor nonetheless asked the judge for a punishment of 14.5 years of imprisonment.

Dilmurod Sayid suffers from acute tuberculosis and there is serious risk for his health in detention without adequate treatment. Continue reading »

Aug 042009

Uzbekistan: Human rights defender, Ms Oyazimhon Hidirova facing charges of “hooliganism”

Posted on 2009/08/04

Human rights defender, Ms Oyazimhon Hidirova, is facing charges of “hooliganism” following her arrest on 28 July 2009. Oyazimhon Hidirova is a member of the International Society of Human Rights of Uzbekistan (ISHRU) and works in the defence of farmers’ land rights in the Djizak region. Front Line is concerned that these charges are directly related to her human rights work.

Further Information

On 28 July 2009, Oyazimhon Hidirova was arrested and detained by representatives of the Department of the Interior of the Dustlik district on charges of “hooliganism.”

The day after, on 29 July 2009, Oyazimhon Hidirova’s home was searched by the police in her absence and in the absence of her lawyer or a representative of her family. On 31 July 2009, Dustlik district criminal court opened a criminal case against Oyazimhon Hidirova under Article 168.2 (fraud), Article 184 (tax evasion) and Article 277.3 (hooliganism) of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan. Continue reading »

Aug 042009

Oyazimhon Hidirova
04.08.09 23:25
Jizak rights activist appeals against her detention – Lawyers of Jizak-based farmer and human rights activist Oyazimhon Hidirova have appealed against the Arnasay District court’s ruling in line with which Hidirova is being held in custody while an investigation into her case is under way.

The appeal, submitted today, will be heard tomorrow but it is not clear whether she would be able to attend it because while in custody her condition has deteriorated.

At the trial on 31 July she fainted and was taken to the detention centre’s medical unit and she is still there in serious condition.

Local activists said that Hidirova was detained on 28 July on charges of fraud, tax evasion and hooliganism.

The Arnasay District court ordered that she would be kept in custody while an investigation into her case was under way.

They said that she had been detained after she exposed cases of corruption in Jizak Region as a result of which she lost her plot of land.

This prompted her to join a human rights organisation and fight for justice. Now the mother of two is facing an unjust trial and a long sentence, local sympathisers said.

Jul 312009

Gulbahor Turayeva; photo:
31.07.09 22:46
Husband of rights activist assaulted in Andijan – The husband of human rights activist Gulbahor Turayeva who was pardoned and released was violently beaten up in Andijan on 25 July. This attack is a result of a campaign launched against Turayeva’s family, the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Activists of Uzbekistan believes.

The group said that Turayeva’s husband Farit Yangildin was attacked outside his home in Andijan’s residential area on the night of 25 July.

His neighbours Dmitriy Yakubovich and Vladimir Akulshin beat him up and demanded that he and his family move out from Andijan within 15 days, threatened with consequences if he refuses. Continue reading »

Jul 242009

poetandhrdyusufjumaUzbekistan: Political Prisoner Abused in Detention

Authorities Should Free Yusuf Jumaev Without Delaygeneva.15.12.2008.

(New York, July 24, 2009) – Uzbek authorities should promptly investigate allegations of ill-treatment against the jailed dissident Yusuf Jumaev and ensure his prompt release from prison, Human Rights Watch said today.

In mid-June 2009, officials at Jaslyk Prison put Jumaev in an isolation cell for eight days without giving him any reason, family members said. He was transferred back to his regular cell only after his health deteriorated severely, said his daughter, who met with him earlier this month. Because the isolation cell is right above the prison kitchen, it is very hot.

Jumaev’s family said that prison guards had burned him several times during his detention by placing a hot electric teapot on his shoulders. He was reportedly denied use of a toilet and was not allowed out of the cell at all during the eight days. He was also denied food and water for at least two of the days. Continue reading »

Apr 212009
Lola Karimova-Tillayeva
21.04.09 16:05
Uzbek president’s second daughter enters Paris’s beau monde – Uzbek President Islam Karimov must be proud of his daughters who are Uzbekistan’s ambassadors to UN agencies in Europe where they have become friends of A-list cinema and show business stars.

The president’s youngest daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillayeva, Uzbekistan’s ambassador to UNESCO, has hosted a reception in Paris on 8 April to present her new Uzbekistan 2020 charity fund.

Her website reported that the former First Lady of France Bernadette Chirac and the incumbent French president’s elder brother, Guillaume Sarkozy, a textile producer, had attended the reception.

French actor Alain Delon even kissed her hand, flattering her self-esteem.

The Uzbek president’s daughter was all glamorous, wearing diamonds and carrying a little silver bag.

What is it about the Uzbekistan 2020 fund that makes it possible for it to gather France’s beau monde around the daughter of one of the world’s most brutal dictators?

Karimova-Tillayeva’s website says that the fund aims to hold cultural and intellectual exchange between Uzbekistan and Europe and support children’s education and development in Uzbekistan. These aims should be achieved by 2020, which is why the fund is called Uzbekistan 2020.

The successful advancement of Lola Karimova and her sister Gulnara Karimova, who is Uzbekistan’s ambassador to the UN Office at Geneva, in the European high society is thanks to Europeans’ unawareness about the situation in Uzbekistan, believes Uzbek human rights activist Mutabar Tajibayeva, who is now in Paris.

“The French people know almost nothing about our country and that Gulnara and Lola are the daughters of the dictator who is responsible for the massacre of people in Andijan in 2005 and for the terrible human rights and economic situation in the country,” Tajibayeva said. Continue reading »

Apr 032009
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Gulnara Karimova
03.04.09 23:38                 gulnora-karimova
Chopard postpones cooperation with Uzbek presidential daughter – The Swiss jewellery company Chopard has declined to hold the joint presentation of the new Guli brand, created by the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova, at a watch and jewellery tradeshow in Basel.

Despite the long-planned joint presentation of Gulnara’s jewellery collection at the Basel fair between 26 March and 2 April, Chopard suddenly backed away from its commitment, postponing the event indefinitely.

There was no joint presentation of the collection by Guli and Chopard in Basel, Annette Heuer, Chopard’s public relations officer, said.

She said that Chopard had not stopped cooperation with Karimova, who is Uzbekistan’s envoy to the UN Office at Geneva, but had suspended it until it found out what the money raised from the sales of the collection would be spent on. Karimova’s website claims that it will be spent on children’s projects in Uzbekistan.

Realising that cooperation with Karimova, a daughter of one of the world’s most brutal dictators, will give rise to questions about Chopard’s policy and ethical standards, Heuer tried to reassure the press that this cooperation had nothing to do with politics. Continue reading »

Mar 272009
Chopard’s Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele with Karimova.
27.03.09 17:27
Chopard’s controversy over Guli blood diamonds – Chopard representatives have denied their involvement in promoting the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova’s Guli jewellery collection at an international watch and jewellery tradeshow in Basel, while Guli representatives claim the opposite.

A German journalist who is covering the tradeshow from Basel said that Chopard representatives had claimed that the presentation of Guli was being held with Chopard’s involvement.

A Chopard representative told the journalist that certain issues should be solved in relations between her company and Guli.

In particular, Chopard wants to clarify the website’s claim that money raised from selling Guli jewellery will be spent on children’s projects in Uzbekistan.

There will be no joint presentation of the collection until this issue is clarified, she said, adding that even then it would be done no earlier than April or May.

However, those manning the Guli stand in Basel told the journalist that the presentation of their collection was being held jointly with Chopard and that the entire collection had been designed for this company. Continue reading »