Uzbek democrats met with European Commission officials

As it was informed, the group of Uzbekistan democratic opposition leaders, who had several meetings in Sweden parliament and Ministry of foreign affairs of this country, are now holding meetings with European Union officials in Brussels. This group included following members: the chairman of «Erk» party Samad Murod, the vice-chairmen of «Birlik» Party Pulat Okhun, Daynov Tashanov, Hamdam Sulaymonov, the chairman of Syrdarya regional organization of «Birlik» Party Isroil Risaev, and human rights activist Anvar Karimov who resides in Sweden.

Yesterday, Uzbek democrats met with the head of the Central Asia department of the Foreign Affairs Directorate of the European Commission Mr. Vitor Andres Madanades and special representative of this department for Uzbekistan Gallia Agisheva as well as another officer.

Uzbek democrats started the conversation by repeating the words they said in the Euro Parliament the day before: » Unlike the other oppositionists and human rights activists from non-democratic countries we did not come here to cry and shed tears. The fighting for democracy and promoting democratic processes in our country are the duty of the opposition itself. We are strong in our beliefs, we do everything possible in order to reach our goals. At this moment we need the help of the West, particularly OSCE and the EU. We mean, we are here with concrete problems to discuss.»

After that, the conversation turned to the violation of human rights by the current Uzbek government, especially people’s political rights; insurmountable obstacles on the opposition’s way. There will be no economical, social reforms in the country, unless, the democratic opposition will be recognized, particularly, it has to start from official recognition of the «Birlik» Party, said the democrats.

This party activists Pulat Okhun, Daynov Tashanov, Hamdam Sulaymonov and Isroil Rizaev told how they were able to move on in registration process of the «Birlik» further than other parties, how the application for registration was denied by the Ministry of Justice 5 times without well-grounded reasons in spite of the fact that «Birlik had more than 21 thousand official members. They also explained the details of the unfinished registration process.

The leader of the «Erk» party Samad Murod let the hosts know that the «Erk» used to be a registered party some time ago, then its activity was temporarily stopped, and now, the party began the activity to cancel the banning decision. Samad Murodov underlined the importance of beginning opposition parties’ registration.

During the conversation, European Union’s valuable role in the release of political prisoners was underlined.

As it became known from the conversation, Uzbekistan Minister of foreign affairs Vladimir Norov started lobbying, in order for Uzbekistan president Islam Karimov to be invited to Brussels by the European Union. Uzbek democrats’ opinion on this case was the following: «We are against the isolation of Uzbekistan, opposite, we are for the integration of Uzbekistan to the world’s democratic institutions. So, we will evaluate the invitation of the Uzbek president to Brussels from this point of view. But, without the registration of the «Birlik» Party by Uzbekistan government, without political prisoners’ release, without giving guarantee to come back home for the oppositionists from abroad, arrival of the president Islam Karimov to Europe — would be the event which will shake the respect to European democracy, would not be serious from the view of the concept of the democracy.»

By the hosts’ request, Pulat Okhun will prepare report on attitude of Uzbek government to opposition parties, violence of human rights and an economical-social situation in the country.