Uzbekistan: Opposition determine claims gov’t behind his arrest

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Khidirnazar Allakulov, who was held for almost one week, says the gov’t refuses to permit an opposition motion to develop.

Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Khidirnazar Allakulov was making ready for the primary congress of his unregistered Truth and Progress Party when he obtained an sudden go to.

At 9am on February 26 (14:00 GMT), dozens of National Guard paramilitary troopers appeared on the doorstep of his home in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital, and took him for questioning to Andijan, a distant metropolis within the Fergana Valley.

The economist and former rector of Termez State University, a place he misplaced in 2004 as he tried to battle alleged corruption on the faculty, has been accused of violation of privateness by publishing a person’s information with out permission.

But he’s positive that the case is an try by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to quash opposition.

“The government is continuously putting pressure on us,” Allakulov informed Al Jazeera, earlier than he attended a second listening to in Andijan.

“I have never broken the law. They just don’t want to let new parties enter politics. We have been trying to put together an organisational committee but the authorities have done everything to prevent us from hosting the congress.”

Other celebration members couldn’t attend the congress as on the day of the occasion, the marriage corridor that they had rented had – some stated mysteriously – closed down for renovation works. This was not the primary time the celebration couldn’t collect for an organisational assembly.

“We tried to gather our supporters twice before. We rented a venue, made the payment, but on the day of our meeting it turned out they are holding an event for children from a local orphanage,” a celebration member who requested anonymity informed Al Jazeera, days earlier than Allakulov’s arrest.

“The second time, the owner of another venue we had rented informed us right before our event that someone else had booked the place before us.”

Democratisation flounders

Since Mirziyoyev got here to energy in December 2016, Uzbekistan has been on the trail to reform.

After years of isolation underneath the late President Islam Karimov, who dominated the ex-Soviet nation for 27 years till his loss of life in 2016, freedom of speech for Uzbekistan’s residents has improved and a lot of political prisoners have been freed.

However, modifications have but to change the nation’s political panorama.

Despite guarantees of a political opening, NGOs nonetheless have difficulties establishing and launching a political celebration, which requires 20,000 signatures of help – a difficult threshold in a rustic the place many are hesitant to affix causes within the wake of Karimov’s authoritarian management.

Members of Allakulov’s Truth and Progress celebration insist that they’ve gathered the signatures required to enter Uzbekistan’s political panorama, though Al Jazeera was unable to confirm the declare.

According to consultants, the issues the motion has confronted over the previous few days present that on Uzbekistan’s path to democracy, the nation has made little progress.

“This incident once again proved the true authoritarian nature of the regime, which is attempting to persuade the world of its ‘democratic reforms’ while at the same time aggressively suppressing opposition voices like Allakulov’s,” stated Dilmira Matyakubova, an skilled with UzInvestigations, an area investigative platform.

“We continue to see elements of the police state use coercion and repressive methods through the security services. And this has not changed ever since [Mirziyovev came to power].”

An inside ministry consultant in Andijan refused Al Jazeera’s request for remark.

On Wednesday, Allakulov returned to his Tashkent home.

It is unclear whether or not he’ll face prices.

“I am now home, but I will soon leave for a party meeting. The government and the security services will not stop me. We will launch the party and we will fight for democratic Uzbekistan,” he informed Al Jazeera. “Nothing can stop us. We respect the laws of Uzbekistan and setting up a political party is our right.”