Friday, November 23, 2007

Save Jahongir Sidikov - no deportations to Uzbekistan

The report below is not the work of a left-leaning group or pressur group. It is the opening of the most recent official report by the United States government.

No-one should be deported to Uzbekistan. The British government should end its attempts to deport Jahongir Sidikov.

U.S.A: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Uzbekistan 2006
Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state: The government's human rights record, already poor, continued to worsen during the year. Citizens did not have the right in practice to change their government through peaceful and democratic means. Security forces routinely tortured, beat, and otherwise mistreated detainees under interrogation to obtain confessions or incriminating information. In several cases, authorities subjected human rights activists and other critics of the regime to forced psychiatric treatment. Human rights activists and journalists who criticized the government were subject to harassment, arbitrary arrest, politically motivated prosecution, and physical attack. The government generally did not take steps to investigate or punish the most egregious cases of abuse, although many officials were prosecuted for corruption. Prison conditions remained very poor and outside monitors did not have full access to places of detention. In many cases those arrested were held incommunicado for extended periods without access to family or attorneys. The government tightly controlled the mass media and treated criticism of the regime as a crime. The government did not observe citizens' right to free assembly or association; police regularly detained citizens to prevent public demonstrations and authorities sought to control all nongovernmental organization (NGO) activity, forcing many local and international NGOs to close. The government restricted religious activity, treating virtually all religious observance outside state sanctioned structures as a crime.

If you have access to a fax machine, please fax the Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, Secretary for State at the Home Office, asking her to intervene to stop the deportation of Jahongir Sidikov and including these references:

Home Office ref. - S2185191

Port ref. - BGT/188094

DMS ref. - 67823

Fax Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith at 020 7035 3262 (00 44 20 7035 3262 if you are faxing from outside UK)

You can draw on the facts given in the post "Jahongir Sidikov's story" which also includes a sample letter to send to your MP or anyone else who might be able to help.

When writing to members of the government and/or Labour Party, it may be worth mentioning Gordon Brown's intervention to stop the deportation of a Burmese dissident. There are similar risks to Jahongir.

There's a list of some of the bloggers and others supporting Jahongir here.

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