Sunday, May 14, 2006

Andijon Massacre Anniversary

I paid lots of attention to the happenings in the region of Uzbekistan last year when a protest of the regime of President Karimov was brutally suppressed by the Uzbek police and military. I even wrote quite a few long posts on the history and geography of Central Asia, just to get perspective (which at the moment I can't find). It was looking like perhaps it would be another colored revolution, like we had just read about in the Ukraine, Georgia and Lebanon.
However, things don't seem to have changed much.

"You see, no one [in Uzbekistan] will mark May 13,"” Razzakov says. "“Quite the opposite. [Authorities] have begun holding concerts of Andijon performers in the stadium. They want to brainwash the youth [and] the people, and turn a day of sorrow into a holiday."”

Israiljon Kholdarov, the chairman of the Erk party'’s chapter in Andijon Province, is another recent arrival in Kyrgyzstan. He says authorities in Andijon have warned relatives of those killed last year to limit traditional ceremonies for the dead to strictly private affairs.

"According to Uzbek custom, there is a wake on the first anniversary of a relative'’s death,"” Kholdarov says. "There are two [security-service] officers and one militiaman outside the homes of every family in which a relative died [last year in Andijon]. They are telling the families not to invite people to [mark] the anniversary, and the mahalla [neighborhood] leaders are supporting it."

In fact they seem to be mired in the oligarchy of a post-soviet satellite, complete with petty dictator. There are still many protests occuring in Uzbekistan and around the world. Amnesty International is going postal on them. But at this stage in the game, and the cooling of U.S. pressure on most international fronts where oppression is occurring, I'm not sure what else is to be done here. Call your Senator I guess. Harass them on yet another issue they aren't dealing with.
Registan has a superlative roundup of stuff on the anniversary of the Andijon massacres.

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