The Acts of the Democracies





In November, Craig Murray, the UK Ambassador to the central Asian country, Uzbekistan, is flown home to the UK after pressure from the USA government.

He had criticised the government of Islam Karimov for failing to introduce democracy, imprisoning up to 10,000 religious and political opponents, sending dissidents to lunatic asylums and torturing prisoners. In one infamous case, two Islamic leaders, Avazoz and Amilov, were tortured to death by being boiled in water.

The USA supports the Uzbek government, having tripled its aid to �295 million in 2002. Several hundred troops are posted in a large military base in the country.

The Ambassador's criticisms agree with previous United Nations reports, a UK Foreign Office paper which concluded in September 2003 that "Torture is a serious problem in Uzbekistan" and Amnesty International who praised Murray's criticisms and added "We would welcome the same kind of outspokenness from ambassadors in other postings such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Israel and the occupied territories."

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