The US-Uzbek strategic partnership appears caught in a downward spiral. Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s administration has added "so-called democrats" to its internal enemies list, which has long been dominated by Islamic militants. Such a move indicates that Tashkent could be preparing to make a break with Washington.
Uzbek officials have long viewed Islamic militants -- who have been blamed for numerous instances of violence, starting with a serious of bombings in Tashkent in February 1999 -- as the main source of domestic instability. But in a television interview broadcast June 15, Uzbek Culture Minister Alisher Azizkhojayev indicated that the government now believes that civil society activists also pose a threat to Uzbek stability. "If we talk about our internal enemies, they come in two types," Azizkhojayev said. "Some are religious extremists and some are so-called democrats who have spread rumors and falsehoods to the outside world."
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
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Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
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We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
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