January 17, 2001
From Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan.
In the beginning of August 2000 (aprox. August 8th ) in the republic and regional newspapers appeared letters about the fact of evacuation of people from five mountain districts of Sariasiyskiy and Uzunskiy regions, Surhandar’ya area.
This happened to prevent risk of danger to people in case armed people of Islam
Movement of Uzbekistan will come to the dictrict. HRSU knows 4 names of 5 districts: Hushtut, Havot, Tamahut and Zambik. It’s a fact that in all 5 districts were living only ethical tadjiks.
HRSU got the information in the middle of September that after evacuation of people from districts mentioned above, all five districts were destroyed by aviation of Uzbekistan. There is information that the people of one of districts were sent to live to the territory of «Zarbdor», Sherabadskiy region.
That is to say that more than 364 families were sent to the place which is 250 kilometers from the place they lived.
At the end of November 2000 I was in Sherabadskiy region and I had a chance to talk to two young people from Zarbdor, who told me about details how people were taken from their place and sent to another in «uzbek way» ( surely you understand why we can’t call the names of these two young people.)
People in those 5 districts were living very good. In each family there were enough cattle, horses and other animals. People took their goods to other places to trade on the horses as there were no roads. Every year 3 or 4 times helicopter was flying there with the representatives of local administration.
From the words of those two young people I was talking to, I found out that armed groups from Tadjikistan came to their territory to buy food and paid very good.
I asked if there were cases when somebody was threatened or violently taken something. They answered that such cases never took place. Last visit of armed people took place at the end of July, when two people came there.
On the August 5th four military helicopters landed in the district with big group of soldiers with the guns. Threatening to kill soldiers began taking people to the square and violently putting them into the helicopters. There were big shock: women and children cried and men did too. If people didn’t want to get into the helicopter they were beaten. All the day people were taken somewhere. People were not let to take anything with them.
Director of local school Davron Karimov while speaking to the head of soldiers said that he would complain to the president of Uzbekistan and that the head would have to give a report for his actions. After that nobody ever saw the director of local school Davron Karimov.
People were taken to the place where nobody lived and given tents to live in. Around this area they put armed people. That day all adult man were arrested and taken to the regional centers. All of them were questioned during 7-10 days by the workers of National Security Service. After all they were let to go and sent to the tent camps where there families were.
During 15 days people were not given any food. As people were not let to take anything with them they were about to die from hunger. The most difficult it was for babies. Unfortunately, there are cases of deaths among babies.
Only after August 20th people were given meal twice a day. Meal was very bad and there was not enough bread. People even couldn’t dream about medical assistance. It was announced on the TV, that every family has got 750.000 sums (about 1.000$ on the «black market».) But none of the families got that money in reality, not even one sum.
This was taking place till the middle of November. People were told that they will be sent to Sherabad region, where new houses were built for them. So the people were sent to that territory which was 20 kilometers from Sherabad region center. The place is uninhibited, where around 6-7 kilometers there are no any region inhibited centers. Young people who were telling me about this told that they were sent there (Zarbdor) in deceiving manner. There was nothing there besides electricity.
Water to drink people had to take from irrigation ditches, there was no warm in their houses and they had to make fires in the middle of the room to get warm. There were no things for bed, clothes or dishes. Eighty years old woman die from coldness. In Zarbdor they stopped giving hot food and only one love of bread given per person a day.
On January 10th 2001the head of Kashkadar’ya department of HRSU Shavrik Ruzimuradov with another HRSU member were in Zarbdor. From all the sites Zarbdor is surrounded by police stations. Any car going to the direction of Zarbdor is being checked and people are asked for their documents. That’s why knowing that there can be obstacles to access Zarbdor, workers of HRSU had to access Zarbdor through the fields.
Crying old men were begging HRSU workers to let international organizations know what is real situation is and they asked to help morally and with anything they can. They think that may be some organizations send them something to help but simultaneously they suppose that it doesn’t reach them. Just once they were given very old pants and T-shirts as it was said from Switzerland though they are not sure if it wasn’t changed. Though they preferred to believe them, as old men said.
They stated that government of Uzbekistan blamed people of the district in the cooperation with Islam Movement of Uzbekistan and intentionally do away with them. After people were sent to Zarbdor, at nights some men are taken from their houses. Still after taking about 100 men to Taskent there is no news from them and no ideas where they are.
Let us just give you 39 names from them:
Kodirov Hazratkul in November gave an interview to the correspondent of BBC radio and after that he was arrested on December 11th . He was arrested by lieutenant colonel, assistant of the head of Sarasiyskiy District Department of Internal Affairs Yuldashev and district police inspector named Kamol. In two weeks the dead body of arrested after interview Kadirov Hazratkul was sent to the relatives. His brother, Ahmadkul Kodirov, in his letter writes:
«When I was showed the dead body of my brother, I saw that his head was smashed, legs and fingers were broken, on his body I saw about 50 holes made by screwdriver. From beating his genitals were destroyed.»
In police relatives were told, that H. Kodirov was dead from heart attack. On the case of brother’s case A.Kodirov met with the head of Internal Affairs Department of Surhandar’ya region, colonel Bahrom Alimovand told him what he had seen. B. Alimov asked threateningly: «Are you a doctor here? If you talk to much we’ll make the same with you as it was done to your brother and asked if he uderstood him or not»
We think, that the government of Uzbekistan are getting ready for one more big judicial performance, where they want to involve hundreds of people from districts mentioned above. They will be blamed in what they didn’t do, in cooperation with Islam Movement of Uzbekistan.
This will be made only with one purpose: to convince the world society that Central Asia in the whole, and Uzbekistan as well, are under danger of Islam extremism and international terrorism, though it’s quite obvious that terrorism created by the government of Uzbekistan against people (not only those ones living in 5 districts of Surhandar’ya) is much bigger than so called international terrorism.
HRSU doesn’t know about lives of people who were living in other 4 districts but we suppose they have to go through the same situation. We know from practice of investigating agencies, that these agencies in Uzbekistan can make any arrested people to write what they dictate. We suppose that from those dictated letters, will come from such dictated ideas as if all people of 5 mountain districts, including babies, were ready with the guns in the arms to break the constitutional way of life in Uzbekistan.
Communists were appreciating their constitutional, soviet way of life, and kept the way from 1917 to 19991. They kept the soviet way of life by resettlement of many people (Koreans from far east, Tartars from Crimea, Chechens, Karachais and etc.) from their small country, building concentration camps for those who didn’t listen to them or by destroying of whole levels of population and etc. It happened in the place of big country called USSR. So may be all this is being repeated in the country called Uzbekistan?
We think, that only help of International Organizations in the solution of the problem mentioned above can save from unavoidable for the moment destroying of thousands of people from mountains districts. We ask International Organizations respond and express your opinions about the problem.
General Secretary of HRSU.