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UN Says It Reached Out to Uzbek NGOs But They Didn't Attend, Why?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 30 -- When UN human rights official Ivan Simonovic visited Uzbekistan, rights groups there complained they were not reached out to. They pointed to Uzbek state media quoting Simonovic praising the Karimov government.

At the UN on May 30, Inner City Press asked Simonovic about this criticism, about independent journalist Jamshid Karimov, and whether the quotes attributed to him are true. He said his views are in his own press releases; he said he raised a number of individual cases but wouldn't name them.

On what he called civil society, he said they were invited to a meeting but a number did not show up. But how did that impact the visit, and his views? Inner City Press asked, what about Andijan?

Simonovic said he did raised Andijan, morphing the question into one of human rights while combating terrorism. He mentioned the "Uzbekistan Islamic Movement," saying they are in Afghanistan and there is a concern post-2014.

  What about Gulnara Karimova, daughter and Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, and her deals with TeliaSonera? The briefing was over, before Inner City Press could ask Simonovic about the UN's Human Rights Due Diligence Policy and the 135 -- at least -- rapes by the Congolese Army in Minova.

  This is a question that UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has resisted, including on May 29, video here. Perhaps we'll hear from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. Watch this site.

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