Thursday, March 27, 2014

President’s daughter allegedly arrested for speaking against her own father

Uzbek president Islam Karimova allegedly ordered the beating and arrest of his daughter, Gulnara Karimova for speaking against his regime. Both Ms Gulnara and her 15-year-old daughter are being kept under house arrest since February 17.  President Karimov is believed to have ordered 20 to 30 men to raid her apartment after she suggested travelling to Israel for medical treatment because she feared doctors may try and kill her in Uzbekistan.

Although the 41-year-old pop star, jewellery designer and ex ambassador to United Nations in Geneva  is said to be being held for allegations of corruption,  a letter smuggled out to BBC believed to have been written by Gulnara where she informed people of her arrest reads…

'How naive was I to think that the rule of law exists in the country? The reason for the Pinochet-style persecution is that I dared to speak up about things that millions are quiet about...

I am under severe psychological pressure, I have been beaten, you can count bruises on my arms…
What makes it all worse, is that it is impossible to live like a human when you are watched by cameras, when there are armed men everywhere and when you are depressed because of what you have seen: special forces jumping on to the roof, your things in a mess, broken windows and doors and worst of all: a blindfolded person who is being dragged along the floor…

I never thought this could happen in a civilised, developing nation that Uzbekistan portrays itself as but a closer look showed me all the ugliness of what goes on here, and listening to people whom I would argue with before, I realise that all of it has been happening for a long time."

According to Ms Karimova's partner was arrested and beaten up. Ms Karimova tried to escape but was dragged back to the flat where she was beaten, it is alleged. 

It also emerged last week that Swedish prosecutors are investigating Ms Karimova on suspicion of
taking bribes to let Nordic telecoms company TeliaSonera enter the country's market.

Ms Karimova had already been named by the Swiss public prosecutor as a suspect in the case which is also being investigated by Dutch and U.S. authorities. Prosecutors are looking into allegations that when TeliaSonera paid 2.3 billion Swedish crowns (£216
million) for a 3G licence in Uzbekistan in 2007 to Gibraltar-registered firm Takilant, it knew the
company was a front for Ms Karimova.

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