Protest in Kyiv to mark Uzbekistans Independence Day
On 1 September, Independence Day in Uzbekistan, representatives of the Uzbek community in Ukraine and Amnesty International in Ukraine held a protest meeting outside the Uzbekistan Embassy. The Uzbek community was protesting against Islam Karimovs regime and said that it was extremely difficult for Uzbeks in Ukraine to legalize their position. The head of the Ukrainian branch of the party “Birlik” Ulugbek Zainabedinov stated:
“Since Ukraine is a former republic of the Soviet Union, it is not safe for Uzbek refugees, particularly not for political refugees. Accepting refugees with political status is like a slap in the face for the President of Uzbekistan”
According to Ulugbek Zainabedinov, the 11 Uzbek nationals who were deported on 14 February at the ruling of the Kyivsky Court in Simferopol are now in prison. They are accused of terrorism and of planning to overturn the constitutional system in the country.
After the deportation of the Uzbek nationals the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) claimed that they were involved in the terrorist organization “The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan”.
Ukraine was criticized for this deportation by human rights organizations, and by both the United States and the European Union.