Receive email alerts October 27, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 EU Fails Human Rights Victims to go further February 11, 2021 Find out more News News Follow the news on Uzbekistan Organisation More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term The European Union’s decision today to lift the arms embargo against Uzbekistan despite its atrocious human rights record is an unconscionable abdication of responsibility toward Uzbek victims of abuse, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, and Reporters Without Borders said today. The decision underscores the EU’s lack of resolve in the face of Uzbekistan’s intransigence and severely undermines its global standing and credibility as a principled promoter of human rights, the groups said.“With today’s decision the EU has effectively abandoned the cause of human rights in Uzbekistan,” said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The EU keeps reiterating its demands for human rights but then never actually holds Uzbekistan to those standards, making these demands ring hollow.”EU ministers announced the decision to lift the embargo on arms sales during the monthly General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), held in Luxembourg on October 26 and 27. The embargo was the last remaining portion of the EU’s sanctions against Uzbekistan, imposed in response to the government massacre of hundreds of demonstrators, most of them unarmed, in the city of Andijan in May 2005 and the fierce crackdown on civil society that ensued. Citing what it termed “positive steps” taken by the Uzbek government, including its participation in structured human rights talks with the EU, ratification of international conventions prohibiting child labor, and release of some human rights defenders, the ministers justified the move as a means to “encourage the Uzbek authorities to take further substantive steps to improve the rule of law and the human rights situation on the ground.” Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, and Reporters Without Borders said that apart from the dialogues, however, none of the steps characterized by EU ministers as “positive” had taken place during the year under review, which was marked by further deterioration in human rights:- New attacks on and arrests of activists, including two new arrests since the beginning of September and the sentencing of the human rights defender and independent journalist Dilmurod Saidov to 12 and 1/2 years in prison; – Credible new reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including at least one suspicious death in custody; – A compulsory relicensing of lawyers, which the Uzbek government appears to be using to revoke the licenses of those who defend individuals persecuted on political grounds; and – Interference in the work of human rights organizations, including the ban on entry into the country and deportation of a Human Rights Watch research consultant in July, taking the government’s obstruction of the organization’s work to a new level.“The EU’s praise of ‘positive steps’ under these circumstances is frankly absurd and utterly discredited by developments on the ground,” said Cartner. “The EU is rewarding Tashkent with a stamp of approval at a time when it could not have deserved it less.” Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, and Reporters Without Borders urged the EU to truly focus its Uzbekistan policy on securing the human rights improvements it has repeatedly called for, including in particular the release of all imprisoned human rights defenders, unhindered operation of civil society groups, and full cooperation with, including access to the country, for UN special rapporteurs. The EU’s top concern should be the plight of at least 12 human rights defenders whom the Uzbek government continues to hold in prison for no reason other than their legitimate human rights work. They are: Solijon Abdurakhmanov, Azam Formonov, Nosim Isakov, Alisher Karamatov, Jamshid Karimov, Norboi Kholjigitov, Farkhad Mukhtarov, Habibulla Okpulatov, Abdurasul Khudainasarov, Yuldash Rasulov, Dilmurod Saidov, and Akzam Turgunov. Many other civic activists, independent journalists, and political dissidents have been also been imprisoned on politically motivated charges, including the poet Yusuf Jumaev and the opposition leader Sanjar Umarov. “The only hope these people have is sustained international pressure to secure their freedom,” said Cartner. “They should be able to count on the EU’s resolve.”In addition to failing Uzbekistan’s human rights victims, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, and Reporters Without Borders said the EU decision to drop the remaining sanctions despite Tashkent’s failure to meet the criteria it has set for lifting them would severely damage the credibility of its human rights policy worldwide.“The message this decision sends to repressive leaders around the world is clear: ‘Defying our reform demands carries no consequences because we will ultimately back down,’” said Cartner. “This is a message the EU simply cannot afford to send.” New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council For more information please contact: For Human Rights Watch, Veronika Szente Goldston (English, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Swedish): +1-212-216-1271; or +1-917-582-1271 (mobile)For International Crisis Group, Andrew Stroehlein (English): +32-485-555 946For Reporters Without Borders, Elsa Vidal (French, English, Russian): +33-1-44 83 84 67 October 15, 2020 Find out more UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia May 11, 2021 Find out more BackgroundThe European Union imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan in October 2005, in response to Tashkent’s refusal to agree to an international commission of inquiry into the government massacre in Andijan and the fierce crackdown on civil society that ensued. The sanctions originally consisted of a visa ban on 12 Uzbek officials the EU considered “directly responsible for the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force in Andijan,” an arms embargo, and partial suspension of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the framework that regulates the EU’s relationship with Uzbekistan. This was the first time the EU had suspended a PCA with another country over human rights concerns. In the four years since it imposed the sanctions, the EU has incrementally weakened them despite the Uzbek government’s persistent defiance of the EU’s human rights demands.The EU lifted the partial suspension of the partnership agreement in November 2006, and then took the names of four officials off the visa ban list in May 2007. In October 2007, while extending the sanctions for another 12 months, it suspended the visa ban for six months, justifying the move as a constructive gesture aimed at encouraging the Uzbek government to undertake the necessary human rights reforms. In April 2008 it extended the suspension of the visa ban for another six months, only to drop the ban altogether in October 2008, leaving in place only the arms embargo. Help by sharing this information News RSF_en News UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia
View Comments Broadway Balances America It’s time to seize the day! Broadway Balances America, the special six-part series airing on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, returned on November 6 with a behind-the-scenes look at the tour of Disney’s Newsies. Correspondent Amber Milt travels to New York and learns the show’s iconic “newspaper dance” from the thrilling Act I closer “Seize the Day.” She also talks with Christopher Gattelli, the musical’s Tony-winning choreographer, some of the show’s “newsies” and Broadway’s Liana Hunt about Disney’s “Get Up and Go” fitness initiative and what it takes to be a “newsie.” Click play now!
Paul Goldschmidt is heading from the desert Southwest to the Gateway to the West.On Wednesday, the Cardinals acquired the All-Star first baseman in exchange for catcher Carson Kelly, pitcher Luke Weaver, infielder Andy Young and a Compensation Round B selection in the 2019 MLB Draft. MORE: MLB hot stove tracker — See who goes whereThis is about as good and even a trade as it gets for both sides. Let’s break it down:Cardinals: AIt’s hard to debate that the Cards did anything wrong in this deal. Goldschmidt, 31, is a bona fide star whose dominance has gone largely unnoticed by casual fans. His career per-162-game averages in the primary offensive categories: .297/.398/.532, 31 home runs, 105 RBIs, 145 OPS+. That’s stupid, stupid good. He was also a good soldier for a franchise that has yet to figure out whether it’s coming or going. The D-backs contended in the NL West for most of the 2018 season before collapsing late, and now it’s looking to pare its payroll, starting with the slugger who will be in his walk year in 2019.Look at the pieces Cards gave up: Carson Kelly, a catcher blocked by St. Louis legend Yadier Molina; right-hander Luke Weaver, who lost his spot in the rotation last season; and minor league infielder Andy Young, who was blocked at second base by Kolten Wong. None of those guys were in the Cardinals’ future plans — their core and future are pretty much set — so they dealt from positions of strength, which is almost always what teams should want to do in trades, no?MORE: Nats going in on rotation again with Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks: B+Arizona is a confusing team. Good talent has routinely taken the field — just look at some of the players it has traded or moved on from: Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin, A.J. Pollock, Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, Adam Eaton, Didi Gregorius, Justin Upton and Max Scherzer. Zack Greinke could soon find himself on this list, as well, a few years after signing a six-year, $206.5 million deal with the franchise.While it has been difficult to know whether Arizona is serious about contending, this trade is a step in the right direction for the franchise.Playing the “Will they or won’t they?” game all season would have been less than optimal for the confusing Snakes, so moving Goldschmidt now makes a lot of sense. The organization couldn’t fool itself into thinking it might be good enough to compete for a wild-card spot in 2019 and hold on to Goldschmidt, and then have him walk away for nothing after the season. The truth is, this is probably the most Arizona was going to get for him: a young pitcher, a young catcher and an infielder who has questions but is on the upswing. The D-backs also picked up a draft pick as a sweetener. Arizona does lose points for 1.) Trading one of the best players in all of baseball and 2.) Not getting a can’t-miss-type player back, but the truth is, it’s better to get volume as opposed to just one pla in exchange for a 31-year-old on a one-year deal. Volume is what Arizona got, which makes the return difficult to debate.Overall: A-This trade works out for everyone. Goldschmidt ends up in a baseball town where people will love him, and he’ll get the spotlight he deserves. The Diamondbacks signal a potential new direction for the franchise as they pick up two prospects and a work-in-progress pitcher.The Cardinals are ready to challenge for the NL Central in 2019 while the Diamondbacks have taken their first step toward potentially tearing down the roster and starting anew.