Uzbekistan. According to
Countryaah, a new law on political parties became
effective January 7. According to this, parties formed on an
ethnic or religious basis, as well as parties that oppose
the country's constitution, are prohibited. To be approved,
new parties must show that they have at least 5,000 members
spread across at least eight of the country's twelve
provinces. Thereafter, the parties have the right to stand
in elections, print newspapers and form parliamentary and
At the end of 1997, Uzbekistan was one of the 3 countries
(along with Israel and the United States) voting against the
lifting of the blockade against Cuba in the UN General
Assembly. A majority of 143 countries voted for the United
States to lift its unilateral blockade.
In early 1998, Tashkent manifested his concern over
Islamists' progress in Tajikistan and the "Wahhabi" sect's
activities in the Fergana Valley - a densely populated area
divided between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
On May 25, 1999, US President Karimov promised a $ 33
million loan. dollars to continue economic reforms. Four
days later, the World Bank transferred DKK 25 million.
dollars to the central bank to strengthen it in its
June 28, 6 men sentenced to death for bomb attacks were
carried out in February in the capital. The assaults cost 16
lives and wounded over 100. According to human rights groups
use the government "the danger" of an extremist Islamic
uprising to legitimize suppression of religious and
political rights. The repression of the authorities
increased and about 1000 Uzbeks fled to Tajikistan, from
where the Uzbek government asked them to be extradited on
charges of publicity. On July 12, the UN set up a mission in
Tajikistan to monitor the situation of refugees.
On September 17, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz accused
Komilov, Tajikistan of supporting Islamic extremists
operating from neighboring Kyrgyzstan. Acc. the Tajik
opposition thus aggravated the "situation in the region".
In November, President Karimov supported Russia in the
war against Chechnya, which was perceived as a war on Islam.
Political observers confirmed that this move was logical
(but irrational) for the elite of the former Soviet
republics who, ironically, tried to settle Islam in
predominantly Muslim countries.
On January 9, 2000, Karimov was re-elected with 92% of
the vote. James Rubin, a spokesman for the US State
Department, stated that the election "had not been free or
fair" since voters had no other "alternatives". Rubin
continued to laugh, telling that the only other candidate,
Abulchafiz Dzjalalov, had declared that he had voted for
Karimov himself. The European Organization for Security and
Cooperation (OSCE) had refused to send observers and made
similar criticisms of the election.
On March 28, the organization Human Rights Watch accused
the government of conducting a "brutal campaign" against
religious activists. Three weeks later, during a visit to
the country, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
offered a "package" of $ 3 million. dollars to fight drug
trafficking and terrorism. With this commitment, President
Karimov, during a visit to Delhi, India, asked the Indian
government for cooperation in the fight against
international terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries
in Central Asia.
In June, Uzbekistan joined the Shanghai group, which
consisted of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan. The spoonful countries now formed the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization, which signed an agreement obliging
them to fight ethnic and religious militancy.