The Butcher of Andijan
November 28, 2005 6:10 AM   Subscribe

The Butcher of Andijan. Uzbekistan Interior Minister Zakirjon Almatov is currently on an extended visit to Germany. Nothing strange or particularly newsworthy about that, you might think - until you realise that Almatov has been declared persona non grata by the EU as one of 12 Uzbek officials "directly responsible for the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force" in the massacre of hundreds of unarmed protesters in the east Uzbekistan city of Andijan.
posted by ZenMasterThis (8 comments total)
Oops. Link got munged. Good link here.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:12 AM on November 28, 2005

Thanks (this has gone unreported in Germany, AFAIK).
posted by uncle harold at 6:19 AM on November 28, 2005

Thanks for this post. The situation in Uzbekistan is horrible, but the authorities there quite rightly (so far) figure that their strategic usefulness to the West plus the obscurity of their country (who can keep all those -stans straight?) will shield them from serious consequences.
posted by languagehat at 7:01 AM on November 28, 2005

The press release from the Council of the European Union on the travel ban. A New York Times article from November 15. According to this article, the visa was approved before the travel ban was enacted. The lease for the air base in Termez operated by German forces to supply German and European ISAF forces in Afghanistan is expiring at the end of the year anyway and German forces are evaluating other options, so hopefully there will be no need any more to bargain with this Uzbek government.

What complicates the situation is that Almatov is not in Germany for sightseeing, he is undergoing cancer treatment. Is it ethical to deny medical treatment to punish someone?
posted by ltl at 7:44 AM on November 28, 2005

Is it ethical to deny medical treatment to punish someone?

Can he not get cancer treatment in Germany while under arrest?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2005

Yes, I think he should get the exact same medical treatment available to your average incarcerated German murderer.
posted by languagehat at 8:24 AM on November 28, 2005

If the German authorities have a legal basis to arrest him they should absolutely do that. But did he violate German law? Uzbekistan is a signatory to the International Criminal Court but has not ratified the treaty, so that avenue is not available and there are probably additional legal (and political) problems if you want to arrest an active member of a foreign government.
posted by ltl at 9:02 AM on November 28, 2005

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