Karimova fails to condemn torture in Uzbekistan, Twitter

Islam Karimov and Gulnara Karimova
Gulnara Karimova has launched a rare conversation about torture in Uzbekistan with a well-known Western journalist on Twitter, but she avoided answering all questions and a call to condemn torture.

The Uzbek president’s elder daughter Gulnara Karimova’s conversation on Twitter was a surprise for Andrew Stroehlein, media programme director at the International Crisis Group).

He said he had twitted about Karimova but he did not expect her to answer it.

Using the conversation that unfolded on 1 December, Stroehlein asked Karimova, as a representative of the Uzbek regime, about her position on torture in Uzbekistan.

Now and here for stupids

“You could say right now that systematic torture in Uzb is appalling,” Stroehlein asked Karimova.

“To give exact transcription of my answer (sorry, maybe my English is bad): to MAKE STATEMENT (without study) RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW is for airheads,” Karimova replied.

“So, only airheads & populists reject torture & forced child labour & try to fight them using whatever position they have?” Stroehlein replied.

To this, Karimova answered that she had to study specific cases of torture.

“Torture has been systematic in Uzb for years, as has forced child labour. You really need a study before you say anything?” Stroehlein asked.

"That's one of the problems when torture is so commonplace as in Uzbekistan - there are a lot of cases to choose from," Stroehlein said.

To what Karimov replied with irritation: “hellloooo!I just asked if I can have a firm report with only precise cases where could be the work done!!!!you missed my twi??”

“Torture has been systematic in Uzb for years, as has forced child labour. You really need a study before you say anything?” Stroehlein asked.

"Great. I will send you some cases," he replied, adding: "But generally speaking, you would like to see Uzb torturing fewer people, right?"

"You could say right now that systematic torture in Uzb is appalling. You wouldn't be called an airhead for saying that," Stroehlein said.

Runners against torture and cotton slaves

In response Karimova asked what he knew about her and recommended to surf the websites of many organisations she patrons and pay attention to a marathon in Tashkent,

A 100,000 runners cannot compensate for 2 million Uzbek children who are forced to pick cotton, Stroehlein said.

"What do I know about you? I know you represent one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Thanks for asking," he added.

"What do I know about you? I know you should denounce your regime's systematic use of torture and forced child labour," he said.

"Why every line you write you mention 'your regime'?" she asked. She also protested against the use of "idiotic line" and "dictator's daughter".

"Ah, OK, so you don't condemn systematic torture in Uzbekistan. Got it," Stroehlein said.

Clean image

Commenting on his conversation with Karimova for Uznews.net, Stroehlein said that she had refused to make a general statement on torture.

Asked why she had engaged conversation with the representative of the International Crisis Group, one of the organisations most critical of the Karimov regime, Stroehlein guessed that she had wanted to clean up her reputation abroad.

He suggested that no dialogue would help her clean her image, nor jewelleries, perfumes or music videos. He said she represented a very repressive regime and no perfume would hide its stench.

He said only active work to stop repressions in Uzbekistan and improvements would help improve her appalling image.

He said he would email evidence of torture in Uzbekistan to her so she could study them but he said he was sceptical about it.

PR of unhappy

That correspondence about the most important problem of human rights in Uzbekistan did not change Karimova's position is seen from her twits exchanged with her followers.

After finishing conversation with Stroehlein, she twitted that she should stop a PR of unhappy people who lived other's lives and became famous only when others pay attention to them.

She added that their names would be remembered only because they wrote or staged a scandal about those in power.