The bodies of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in Uzbekistan are scarcely cold but the White House is already looking for ways to dismiss them. Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said they were “Islamic terrorists” of the armed resistance and that they should have sought for a democratic government through peaceful means and not through violence.
But, how to do that in Uzbekistan? It is not the case of Georgia, Ukraine or Kyrgyzstan. In the latest legislative elections, the opposition could not even present candidates. There is no media freedom at all and when violence was taking place in Andijan, most people in Tashkent, the capital, did not know what was happening there. What would have been the fate of the 23 people accused in the process if the crowd had not sprung them from jail? In Uzbekistan, the conviction rate is 99% and in President Karimov’s torture chambers everyone confesses. Once convicted, torture does not stop. It continues to have the prisoners sign declarations loyalty to the president or evidence implicating “accomplices”. The United Nations or Human Rights Watch have denounced this activities but the CIA or the MI-6 use them to obtain “intelligence information” about Al-Qaida. Most of this information is bogus and I asked the MI-6 to stop using it which led to my dismissal from the Foreign Office.
Karimov is George W. Bush’s man in the region and, consequently, not a senior member of the Bush administration calls for free elections. Karimov receives important financial assistance and he opens his territory to US bases and pipelines. Last year I met with opposition leaders and they are not Islamists. Labeling opposition members as “Islamists” may please Washington but Great Britain should not accept it.

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

" What drives support for this torturer? ", by Craig Murray, The Guardian, May 16, 2005.