Home > UK, UZB > British diplomats toadying to Uzbek dictator’s daughter

British diplomats toadying to Uzbek dictator’s daughter

October 14, 2010

The following commentary is courtesy of UzNews.net.

British diplomats toadying to Uzbek dictator’s daughter
©  UzNews
October 14, 2010

Uznews.net – British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Rupert Joy has taken part in the style.uz fashion week, organised by the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova, ensuring prestige and acknowledgement for the event that is taking place on the sidelines of the cotton-picking campaign which is enslaving millions of Uzbek children.

Ambassador Rupert Joy and Director of the British Council in Uzbekistan Steve McNulty have been listed among the organisers of the style.uz fashion week, held in Tashkent on 9-14 October. The event is an extravagant glamorous fancy of Gulnara Karimova.

Both British men were by Karimova’s at a press conference in Tashkent on 12 October, answering journalists’ questions about the fashion week’s importance.

The British ambassador said that Karimova’s Fund Forum was establishing and developing international cooperation between Uzbekistan and Britain and that he was impressed by the enthusiasm and curiosity of the Uzbek youth.

Self-styled clothing and jewellery designer with her Guli brand, Karimova wants to take part in fashion shows in Milan and New York, dreaming of conquering the world with her style and beauty.

In Uzbekistan, which has been run by her father Islam Karimov, she can materialise any idea regardless of its cost or expediency.

At Karimova’s whim, Tashkent hosts Prada, MaxMara, Oscar de la Renta and other shows that are associated with luxury, and that is in the country where at least a third of the population lives below the subsistence level.

It is not surprising that world-class designers show unconcealed interest in Karimova’s money rather than human rights or the fight against corruption in Uzbekistan, but the presence of the British diplomats at Karimova’s fashion week gives rise to many questions.

Juliette Williams, the founding director of the London-based Environmental Justice Foundation that has published a number of reports on the problems of forced child labour in the Uzbek cotton industry, expressed her regret over the British ambassador’s involvement in Gulnara Karimova’s project.

She said she was saddened by the fact that the British ambassador gave a wrong picture about the situation in Uzbekistan by attending the fashion show.

Williams thinks that the present British envoy is hushing up the problem of human rights in Uzbekistan and is nowhere near his predecessor Craig Murray, which was heavily involved in this sphere.

Williams also criticised Steve McNulty of the British Council for taking part in Gulnara’s event instead of promoting education and cultural exchange between the two countries, when Uzbek children are deprived of their basic right to education, as they are forced to pick cotton.

The British diplomats’ behaviour is legitimising the regime in Uzbekistan which is raking up profits from exploiting children in cotton fields, Williams thinks.

Abdujalil Boymatov, the president of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, is shocked about the British ambassador’s sponsorship of the Uzbek presidential daughter’s fashion week.

“The human rights situation is deteriorating from day to day and criminal cases are being opening against the remaining independent journalists in Tashkent, whereas the British ambassador is feasting during the plague,” he said.

Ambassador Rupert Joy was not available for comment today, but his office said that he would answer Uznews.net‘s questions next Monday.


Share:        Delicious  

Categories: UK, UZB