July 31, 2002
US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
I am, Talib Yakubov, Chairman of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan have personally met with Mr. Dilyaver Irgashev and his family in March 2001 in New York while participating as an observer during the session of the UN Human Rights Committee.
Stories by Mr. Irgashev and his family members on what has happened to them, the reason of their current staying in USA touched me significantly. Having returned to Uzbekistan I decided to conduct my own investigation regarding this matter.
Indeed Mr. Irgashev has been started to be persecuted by Samarkand district authority since 1994, after the Central Television of Uzbekistan broadcasted critical material about illegal activities made by the district authority in respect to entrepreneur D.Irgashev.
Mr. Irgashev and Entrepreneurs Council of Samarkand district tried to persuade officials of the district authority to stop pressuring the entrepreneur. But those actions were perceived by the authority as hostile ones and the persecution was reinforced:
– property was deceitfully deprived;
– all subordinating leverages of authority, incl. Inspecting, tax, prosecutor and Internal Affairs institutions, were involved into activity against D.Irgashev.
It is necessary to explain that this is the way the power is organized in Uzbekistan: the whole structure of power fully and unconditionally conform the head of administration, his will must be accomplished by all officials of the whole structure without questioning whether his decision complies with legislation and rules of law or not. Otherwise, these people can be hardly hurt for their “independence”. As it is well known such experience in ruling structure in conditions of authoritarian regime generates impunity, broad corruption, circular surety, which are used to depress the will of an individual, to develop violence, to form universal fear in front of authorities.
Unfortunately it is to be noted that Uzbekistan is going through the period of authoritative regime and millions of people are suffering from this.
Administration of Samarkand district has been arranging endless illegal inspections of economic activity of the enterprises of Mr. D.Irgashev, moreover, an attempt to prosecute him were carried out.
Though district authorities tried to slander Mr. D.Irgashev in front of society they did not succeed, because he was always characterized with decentness both in work and in communication with people, healthy morality and selflessness. Struggle against arbitrary rule of authorities became a large experience for Mr. D.Irgashev and he using legal facilities attempted to protect himself and his family from persecution. He has repeatedly applied to various instances, public prosecutions department, has written complaints to the President’s office, to the law enforcement organization on human rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Journalists of the Central Television and the newspaper “O’zbekiston Ovozi” defended Mr. D.Irgashev.
But the difference between authoritative and democratic power is that any criticism addressed to the power is perceived sorely and instead of improving the situation, the attitude of the power towards the person openly opposed power’s arbitrariness becomes more rigorous. That is the case of Mr. D.Irgashev.
I based on the material possessed can state that this is not the only case, but an ordinary absurdity experience of the authorities in Uzbekistan. Of course, it is hardly possible to express everything, which the family of Mr. D.Irgashev has experienced during the years of struggle against the arbitrariness of the authorities of Samarkand district in the short letter, as well as health damage that his family members and he has suffered from the pressure.
It is understandable that having failed in search of a way out from the situation and in order to save the most valuable, as he told me during the conversation in New York – life and health of the family members, his beautiful children, he ran away to USA and left all his property.
If you wish to make inquiries about the validity of our organization, you can contact any of the following organizations in Tashkent and they will be able to confirm that we are a local human rights organization here, well known to the international community.
– Human Rights Watch, Tashkent office, 998 71 181 54 22 or firstname.lastname@example.org
– US Embassy in Tashkent, 998 71 120 54 50, Third Secretary, Ted Burkhalter
– OSCE, 998 71 132 01 52, Jurabek Amanov.
Chairman of Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan