Jahongir Sidikov’s deportation postponed

So now there’s still some time to fight it, even as the British government makes clear their policy of deporting dissidents to Uzbekistan if they don’t qualify for asylum – knowing full well they will be tortured upon their return.

The process was fast-tracked, which means evidence was ignored and defense had but a week to prepare. Was that a kangaroo I saw jumping by?

The judge’s behaviour was a disgrace, and let me be plain I do have contempt of her court, deep contempt. But she was merely indicative of the general mindset of the “Fast-track”, a disgraceful device by which the government seeks to curry favour with the tabloids by increasing deportation numbers.

Boosting New Labour with focus groups infinitely outweighs the torture to death of the odd dissident.

Jahongir Sidikov deportation hearing tomorrow

Britain has denied political asylum to Uzbek dissident Jahongir Sidikov. If he’s sent back, he will be tortured. Immersion of limbs in boiling water is a favored technique. His hearing is tomorrow.

Uzbekistan has been used by the US and Britain for extraordinary rendition. Political prisoners are sent there to be tortured, as documented in former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray in his book, Murder in Samarkand.

Let’s hope enough people and organizations have made enough noise that Sidikov will not be sent back to the country which is almost certainly a model for Doonesbury’s Berzerkistan.

Britain to send dissident back to Uzbekistan

Jahongir Sidikov is a member of an opposition party in Uzbekistan. He has been denied political asylum in Britain and may soon be sent back where he will almost certainly face hideous torture. British authorities know this because they’ve sent suspected terrorists there to be tortured for information. Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who was forced out after exposing this complicity in torture is trying to mobilize support for Sidikov.

How on Earth can we consider deporting dissidents back to Uzbekistan. Do Ministers not know what happens in that country, or do they just not care? And why can’t I get any politician, journalist or official even vaguely interested? Even on the internet, no prominent bloggers have shown any interest. To sit in a condemned cell awaiting a relatively quick death must be awful. But to await the kind of things the Uzbek security services will do to you – and to be awaiting them in England – is unthinkable.

Weasel words from the Torturer-in-chief

Bush admits CIA had secret prisons

But he says no one was tortured. As always, one needs to cut through the fog of neocon lies and evasions to get to the truth. First off, Bush says the hideous treatment of detainees at Guantanamo isn’t torture because he defines torture as something only evildoers do. As with Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland, words only mean what he wants them to mean. Until he changes the meaning, of course. Without letting anyone know. Some might call this delusional.

Also, and even more brutally, torture has absolutely happened at prisons the CIA has shipped people to. In Uzbekistan, immersion in boiling water in a favored method. The Bush spin is obvious. Golly, they weren’t “CIA prisons”, now were they?

Craig Murray speaks

Murray was the British ambassador to Uzbekistan who was forced out of his job for exposing the US/British practice of sending politicial prisoners to Uzbekistan to be tortured.

From the intro to the interview

First of all, if you’ve read the accounts, you know that the Uzbek government stands accused of boiling dissidents to death, raping them with broken bottles, smashing their teeth in, pulling out their fingernails – one of the West’s principal allies in the ‘war on terror’, which is often cast as one for liberal values, has been a dictatorship that, according to Murray, is every bit as bad as Saddam’s was. This regime also happened to be one of the main suppliers of ‘intelligence’ to the West.

This was ‘intelligence’ which the CIA used and pretended was genuine. Worse, they sent prisoners to Uzbekistan to be tortured for information.

Craig Murray

“It started with me in first three weeks of arriving going to witness a dissident trial, and it was absolutely terrifying. It was like a Nazi show trial, they had dissidents signing confessions saying not only that they had been to Afghanistan, but that they actually met bin Laden â┚¬â€œ it was that obvious. And the prisoners were looking dishevelled and beaten, and they were surrounded by armed guards and the judge was screaming at them. It was an extraordinary, terrifying experience. Within a few days of that, I received photographs of one prisoner who had been boiled to death at the notorious Jaslyk prison complex.

Over time I started to get a picture of torture at an industrial level, with the common factor that if they were dissidents they were made to sign confessions indicating that they were connected with Al-Qaeda and if they weren’t dissidents, they had to name ten other people as being connected with Al Qaeda â┚¬â€œ and it was ludicrous, these were people they had never even met!

“Then I began to get CIA intelligence reports repeating these exact claims as trustworthy intelligence, and it didn’t take much to notice that connection.”

The interview concludes

He wonders, as any reader might, how we have come to a situation where “integrity in public life is now so rare that some consider me a hero just for exhibiting the most basic human decency?” In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. In a time of increasing reaction, even the most moderate liberalism can seem revolutionary.

Criag Murray has written a book about this, Murder in Samarkand. The British government has blocked him from publishing certain documents related to the book on his website. However these documents have widely been distributed via the blogosphere. Blogs with continuing info on Craig Murray and his battles with the government include LFCM, BlairWatch, Nether World, and Lenin’s Tomb (where the above interview appeared)

Bloggers have played an indispensable role in getting the news about Murray and Uzbekistan out to the world, as well as in circumventing the attempted censorship of the British government.