'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Human rights officials expressed concern this week over the widespread use of torture in Uzbek prisons and called on Western governments to impose sanctions on and end dealings with the former Soviet republic's autocratic regime.
The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a waiver to restrictions on military aid to the Uzbek government in a move to help enhance supply routes to American troops in Afghanistan, but opponents say it will only prop up the autocratic Uzbek regime.
The producers of New York's Fashion Week have canceled a show scheduled for next week by the daughter of the president of Uzbekistan amid pressure from a human rights group and a planned protest over the use of child labor in her country.
He noted that independent Uzbek lawyers who had been involved in challenging cases of torture by police have had their licenses revoked.
"Some of the most experienced lawyers in the country that had for years been the ones taking on the torture cases, representing political prisoners and those accused on terrorism charges, have been silenced and were effectively disbarred," he said. "This has had a chilling effect on the entire legal profession in Uzbekistan."