PRESS-CONFERENCE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN ISLAM KARIMOV
ON EVENTS IN ANDIJAN TASHKENT, 14 MAY 2005.
I.Karimov: Let’s start our press-conference. All of you are interested and worried about the events that took place yesterday in Andijan.
Therefore I should stress that in the night from May 12 to 13 at about 00:30 hrs the group of armed criminals and I think that this naming is more adequate came to the military unit.
Exact number of guerillas will be determined soon and it consisted of some 30 people. They were armed with guns, and they had also submachine guns as well as pistols.
Then the Uzbekistan President said that a group of armed felons attacked the guards on duty of the patrol-sentry service in Andijan city at 00:30 and shot four people, having seized weapons.
Later the group attacked the military unit No 34 at 13:30 and killed about five people. The group seized additional weapons, including machine guns, pistols and grenades. The guerillas also captured military lorry ZIL-130, President said.
Using this lorry they attacked remand prison and released almost all inmates, total number of them was some 600, Karimov said.
Afterwards they started robbery and took over all cars on their way. They directed to three buildings, including buildings of regional departments of Interior Ministry and National Security Service and regional administration, Uzbekistan President said.
The group seized the regional administration of Andijan as the guards were not armed, while staff of regional departments of Interior Ministry and National Security Service resisted. Uzbek leader said the group was not able to detain them.
Islam Karimov noted that on their way the group took hostages and on preliminary calculation there were some 20 hostages. Felons kept the hostages at the administration’s building, tied and taunt them.
After the group captured the building, they started to call their relatives, families and wives and demanded from them to arrive to building of administration and to stay around the building, Karimov underlined. Uzbek leader added that the guerillas used these people, including children, women and elder people, as live shield. Altogether there were about 300 of these people around the building.
This was situation at around 6:30, he said. President said that he faced this situation when he arrived to Andijan at 7:30. Karimov said that Uzbek Interior Minister informed him on events in Andijan at 1:45 and he was in Andijan at 7:30.
Uzbek leader said: “First thing we did was the organisation of small headquarters to neutralize criminals and free hostages, as well as to take on the guarding of all the major establishments where they could produce some explosives, including petrol stations and other such establishments that could be used to create chaos in the city.”
Criminals, by the way, step up to the regional administration building, it just located at the cross of the three roads, blocked all three roads with burnt cars. Near this three-storied building, another one seven-storied administrative building, which is the part of the regional administration building. They put the snipers on the roofs of the administration buildings and neighboring ones, obviously, they were well prepared. Law enforcement and other forces, as well as no one soldier, which were mobilized, did not approach to the building of regional administration till 18:00. Why? It was my order which was directed to create maximum favorable conditions to hold negotiations and to protect staff of law enforcement bodies from snipers and I would like to underline again, to create all conditions and not to create to them any fear at what they could fire somebody. No soldier approached to the regional administration building till 18:00 and all of them were enough far in order to provide favorable conditions for negotiation process.
Interior Minister Zokir Almatov and head of regional administration Saydullo Begaliyev represented the Uzbek authorities during negotiations. Some other people joined the process later but mainly the two mentioned officials carried negotiations. First we determined who is the formal, I would like to underline again, formal leader of the band. Afterwards, negotiations started to find out of their terms. We put only one request – it was my request - we are ready to provide buses and where you could set with weapons and go out of town. We said if you would like that show to us route and we was ready accompany them and guaranteed law enforcement bodies would not touch them and demanded release hostages. Leader of group, who held talks, at first agreed to leave town but demanded only release of six inmates and to give back them. We agreed to release. But when we agreed, later during the next phone conversation they changed their demand and asked to release all their counterparts or those ideologists, who jailed in Tashkent, Navoi provinces and other different parts of Uzbekistan. I would like to explain to you – journalists - in order to you will not do insinuations, why we could not agreed with such demands. If we agreed to this demand, this incident would result tens such captures throughout of the territory of Uzbekistan, tomorrow they will capture kindergarten, school and hospital as it was in Chechnya and Budyonovsk and will demand such terms on release and than will demand announcement of Uzbekistan as Islamic Republic as well as renunciation of some constitutional demands. Agreement with such demands means that we are creating precedent, which will not accept by any one country in the world. That is the political terms never will not acceptable for us.
Group of criminals captures the administration building as well as hostages and than put political demands. I would like to say you such fact, especially for foreign journalists, that we had opportunity to tap telephone conversations that persons who were inside of the building. When we agreed to the preliminary demands, there was another call from the city where father orders his son to upraise people saying that Uzbek authorities “back down”. The group held telephone conversations with neighboring Kyrgyz Republic and even Afghanistan. Nevertheless, when authorities approximately 13:00 categorically refused to satisfy their impudent demand, our mobilized forces and soldiers did not approach to the building and we gave time to them think and leave town.
We put another one request - if you would like please give up weapons and go back home. Tell me, what kind another requests we have to put them? Of course, we will investigate cause and effects of this matter, who, what and where allowed infringement of law and if you have any legal demands, for instance, that in Andijan judged a few fanatics, who preached slogans of “Hizb ut Tahrir”, we are ready to examine these issues, if somewhere was infringement of law and somewhere their were arrested unduly. That is I am declaring categorically: they were told to give up the weapon, they were guaranteed that the case will be consider on the legal basis.
As a president I declare categorically and declared some times. It is many times told. Just imagine, at 13:00 and 18:00 we touched nobody and did not move closer to building, but when night began to come nearer, we decided to go closer to building and to block it more densely.
Somewhere approximately at 19:30 they understood that serious forces coming close to building, from above one helicopter patrolled to show snipers on the roof do not fall outside the limits - the helicopter will always manage to get you. We did not shoot from the helicopter to anybody. That was a purpose that the helicopter flew through above of building twice and showed them, that you, guys, do not pass bounds, and otherwise we have forces to reach you.
When they had understood, what serious forces blocked them, they made a decision on advancing what means an advancing? - They have decided to break from a building Khokimiyat (mayor office) –divided to three groups they decided to break through main ways and exits and left to three directions outside of city, outside of city boundaries.
Naturally, pursuit was organized – what was a number of victims as a result, I could not tell now for certain. By our calculations, more than ten persons died from law enforcement bodies, from their side, certainly, it is much more.
Pursuit practically was stopped somewhere at 11 pm. In the morning it was renewed. Actually, if asked, they cannot leave anywhere, they can be dissolved on territory of area - simply to be dissolved, that’s the first. Secondly, they could percolate through border to the territory of Kyrgyzstan. It is, people say, easier. I repeat, to be dissolved in territory of area, and territory is boundary, you know, well enough cross-country terrain and, naturally, we have dense border with Kyrgyzstan. They could percolate to the territory of Jala-labad or Osh regions. They are only two areas which border with Andijan region. That’s all events took place for the expired day in Andijan city.
Now if you are interested in, I would like to tell you some versions or my comments on these events. And then, if somebody has questions, I am ready to answer them.
The first, I would like to tell as conclusions. In tragically events which have happened in Andijan, the first there was an attempt to repeat all that happened in Kyrgyzstan for last years and last time. Nowadays it is no need to prove anybody and life precisely confirms this, no long proceeding confrontation as boiling events can long time happens only within the limits of one country.
On example of Afghanistan we were convinced, that long time confrontation or civil war or something like this, connected with infringement of stability that was long time on territory of one country, it is for sure will gush over border and will pass to territory of neighboring countries. Sooner or later these events can repeat and happen in neighboring countries at support of those countries where these events took place.
Concerning the events in Kyrgyzstan, the reasons for this, what factors, connections, reasons for what happened, I will not speak now. But I can tell you that in Kyrgyzstan the discontent of the population accumulated for a long time and protest potential and this discontent was combined first of all with deafness of the government and personally president whose policy consisted only in one – conjecture and only conjecture. And there was no principle, and once again no principle. Now I will not repeat, all that today is written in Kirghiz and foreign press, corruption and other. I will not pretend to take commitments on what is true, lie and about family Akaev, it is not a matter of today's conversation.
But the most important - the second reason of events in Kyrgyzstan, was weakness or absence of authority. And this all has led to that long time, you know, in Jala-labad, Osh, long time also in Bishkek there were events which inevitably had to lead to explosion. That’s a law of physics. Therefore everything, that took place in Kyrgyzstan, it is quite natural, and I would tell, it is explainable from the point of view of logic, causal relationships. I repeat, from the point of view of logic, causal relationships.
I once again tell you that I said many times concerning Georgia, Ukraine. So-called external intervention is effective, when first two reasons are present. Namely, discontent of the population of its social lawlessness, I would tell a hopelessness of people. People already understand, that there is already no place to address and it is useless to address. Secondly, it was no understanding, or due policy of government, only promises, but nothing has been implemented. Besides, the government was full of corruption. That’s all two reasons, there is no third one.
Absence of strong reforms, social policy which would suit people and population can see the light at the end of tunnel as we speak. When people see this, then pairs leave from a boiler. And only after this moment comes, external forces can use these conditions to reach their objectives. They can direct pairs and this discontent to necessary channel and define those leaders who should take possession tomorrow and as though to enter new government. And elite will be changed - old elite leaves, new comes.
And external forces, certainly, take part in it. They are training these leaders for long time. Therefore my personal opinion, I am saying my personal comment, I think that it is absolutely inappropriate to connect today’s events with Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan together. Each country has it’s own destiny, situation, the mentality of people and these attempts to name one revolution - pink, another - orange, third - tulip.
Allow to declare in this regard: these are tense for ears, so called version or attempt to unite all of them to some kind of interconnected purpose. Certainly, there is connection between them, but at each country, I repeat, events happen proceeding from that conditions, that situation which takes place in this country, mentality of these people absolutely different, reasons which became for this, means so-called revolutions, certainly, different.
Therefore, when Kyrgyzstan tries to tie up under events of Georgia and Ukraine, I think that it is an artificial stretch, and in this I do not see any serious connection in it. Furthermore I am familiar with Kyrgyzstan and aware of the situation in this country, I know it for a long time and I can compare the conditions of Transcaucasia, and conditions in Ukraine, especially in Ukraine.
And secondly, I personally had already mentioned several times, and once again I think, that you will agree with me, I am categorically against the revolutions, I am for evolution. All events should develop in view of those objective laws which exist in the world. Is anybody ignore these laws, they will say, yes, there is objective reality and laws, if someone thinks, that it is possible to jump through one order to the next stage of social development, so in this regard it is possible to jump from a stage slaveholding order to the stage of developed bourgeois order.
How it is possible with feudal state order where all the same prosper patriarchal, patrimonial, clan interests, the clan interests solves the issue. One clan struggles with other clan for a piece of the state pie - so this takes place in Kyrgyzstan. What kind of revolutions should we speak about there? And the patrimonial relations – this is attribute of feudalism and how it is possible to pass from this period or from regime which calls the developed democracy or transitive democracy.
Mr. Akaev could not converge one with another. On one hand, he himself maintained these clan, patrimonial relations, for example, his village, area of origin, where he was born and where he has supporters, his son also was elected as deputy from the area of Keminsky, well as a matter of fact I do not know my district, I know the city of Samarkand where I was born.
Tell me, when, as I am head of state for a long time, did I supported someone from Samarkand or created here in Tashkent Samarkand clan. How it is possible to rely on patrimonial relations on one hand, use these relations, and from the other side - to speak that I am the liberal, democrat and I have much made for development of democracy in my country.
You see, these are not similar concepts. Therefore I do not want to continue this idea further, and I want to tell only one thing, external intervention about which many speaks about, it certainly exists but, I repeat, it could do nothing if there is a consent between the state and the people in the country and mutual direct relations. If the government feels the mood of people and their expectations and aspiration, and knows, that what people wants today, what are their plans for tomorrow, what decisions people like, and he supports them, and what decisions should be rejected. And if these relations exist, no external influences can make anything in one country.
Therefore, from this point of view, I think, that situation here is the result of many factors where one fact to tear off from another. It is necessary to consider all these factors in unity, to examine influence of each factor and then the whole picture will appear which will be clear for everybody. But the most important, which extremely dangerous for us is that when the situation is building and when different people would like to use this situation and when the elements of crowd, element of chaos want to take advantage over this situation and if the mass of people without control it is impossible to control such situation. Look, nobody could control the situation.
Events on March 24 in Bishkek as a matter of fact showed that this was absolutely unexpected both for opposition and for authority, and for those who very attentively looking at these events they wanted programmed people. Therefore if all this to apply to our conditions, and I wish to tell, that example when provoke people to go out to streets and to use elements of crowd, syndrome of crowd then through crowd to lead the process, and it happened in Andijan. If to examine through this prism, events in Andijan did not happened spontaneously. Today we already have all information to say that it took minimum three-six months in order to prepare these actions in Andijan, because synchronism of what happened in the streets of Andijan and, especially, the capture of municipality building shows that these were planed in advance.
What goal did those who organized all this pursue? Who are they? What current force do they represent?
I declare that according to information we have, they are a branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir. We know practically everyone by name. They are a branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which in Andijan is called Akramiya. Their ideas and goals, in fact, do not differ from HT’s goals. Their final goal is to unite Muslims and set up a so-called Muslim caliphate, with all shariah laws, which they preach. The first task was to bring down (overthrew) the existing constitutional order, bring down the local authorities and then to establish the order, which we on the whole consider to be already established in neighboring states, which has particularly strengthened in Central Asian states. This is HT branch which has set itself the task of creating a so-called caliphate, which would unite all Muslims but would be categorically opposed to any constitutional order and secular path of development. These were their goals.
Another point I would like to draw your attention to is that they hoped that the people of Andijan would support them. Throughout the night which they spent in the administration building, they were trying to stir up those who were outside the building, in Andijan and neighboring districts in order to persuade them to come to the square of Andijan so that they left the building as winners, walked to the square hiding behind women and children. Here is the situation, the picture which they generally had in their minds. This was not only a plan in their minds, this was a plan which had been worked out beforehand. This plan was supported by those who committed this kind of thing in Dzhalal-Abad and Osh. They wanted to repeat this scenario exactly, and then to move from there to Tashkent, which is exactly what happened in Kyrgyzstan.
However, life is not developing according to their plans. The situation in Uzbekistan is absolutely, I repeat, absolutely different from situation in Kyrgyzstan. People’s spirit, their will is absolutely different from those in Kyrgyzstan. We absolutely do not come under any epithets or descriptions which could put the people living in Ferghana valley and those who live in Kyrgyzstan’s southern regions. That is why those who drew up these plans – I reiterate that these plans were drawn up not by those who led this attack or criminal act, they were drawn up by those who committed this kind of act or organized this kind of process in Kyrgyzstan’s southern regions.
That is why the last conclusion I would draw your attention is that attempts to develop democracy, attempts to speed up the process of democracy on countries which are still far from the ideals or standards of democracy, or attempts to implant these processes artificially, may lead to a situation which can be used by the third force. I call this third force – radical Islam. In the conditions of the Muslim world, in the conditions when Muslims account for over 80 per cent of Central Asia’s population, I appeal to you, western journalists. I ask you, look at the place where you are working. Just look at the mentality of these people. It sharply differs even from the mentality in Georgia or Ukraine. Quite different people with different views live here. Yes, we must strive for what the West is preaching – developed democracy. However, let me say that even Zbigniew Bzezinsky admits that democracy should not be exported or imported. This may have serious tragic consequences.
I respect Zbigniew Bzezinsky as very clever, sagacious politician, thinking man, if you want, the prognosis of whom come true as a rule. Even he says that one cannot export these processes, everything should go by evolutionary way, as maturing of conditions, as maturing that is called consciousness of the person. As the person’s thinking is changing.
You live in Tashkent. Yes, Tashkent in terms of its development, particularly in terms of European development, has left our regions far behind, very far behind. Look at Qashqadarya, Surhondarya and other regions. Both Qashqadarya and Surhondarya will reach Tashkent’s level, but this will happen a little later. The process is underway. One cannot stop it. Not a single president or leader can stop the development of democracy, the expansion of democracy, democratic processes, people’s democratic views or awareness. Anyone who stands in their path will be overturned. This is an objective process.
We would like to build the same society, which exists in France, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and in the United States. We do not want nothing new. We would like to create thy system similar as in Japan, South Korea, president of Korea was recently visiting Uzbekistan. I would like to tell that democracy is the same everywhere. Its main principles are clear: this is a governance by the people, the will of the people, the free and open elections, which are the inalienable part of democracy.
This is, first of all, the civil society, which is finally is the highest level of the development of any democracy. This process is never stops, and if you ask those countries, who achieved these marks, they also would tell that they are continuing to work and deepen these processes. The democracy does not accept the ideas of caliphate.
What is Caliphate? Caliphate existed 300 years in days of Prophet Mohammed. And even our Prophet Mohammed said that sometime it would not be a necessity of Caliphate. And so, at different periods of time the idea of Caliphate had been appeared again, arose. Last stage is the end of XX Century. Those who preaches Hizbut-Takhrir which native land is Jordan, have considerably strengthened the positions, strangely enough, in Central Asia in 80th of the last Century. It has rooted deeply, especially at the beginning of our independence when all of us considered that now we had become free and we had everything. We considered that we were a member of UN and, in general, we moved toward democracy. We got free from the Soviet ideology, from the communist ideology. A vacuum which was appeared then has began to be filled by these who came abroad and wanted to build mosques everywhere. It continues today in our region. For example, in Southern Kazakhstan there are 1500 mosques, 500 of which are not registered. Everyone offers loans and free of charge contractions of mosques. We also are offered, especially in Ferghana Valley. And so, from this point of view, I want to tell that Hizbut-Takhrir – we have a clear understanding what it is – has taken the deep roots in Central Asian countries, in Ferghana Valley. There are manifestations of Hizbut-Takhrir here in Tashkent as well.
And so, these people are certainly known for us. They were known before they have headed this action, the criminal act which they have perpetrated. We know their names. Regarding the question whether they are in the lists of criminals, I will say you - they are not so far. But we will investigate yet. For this we have evidences which will to answer your questions more specifically later. They are criminals who proceeding from the criminal purposes have perpetrated this action, and according to the law they must account. We have not found that with whom we were negotiating. He has disappeared, hided from. In other words he has substituted youth, and disappeared. That is all their ideology which is to substitute innocent young men who cannot orient in this situation, and to be disappeared and to be showed up somewhere tomorrow. Once Afghanistan was such a place for these who had disappeared, where all murderers and terrorists had found a roof. I do not know what country will give them a shelter but I think, that still there are such countries around us.

Q: Yury Chernogaev, DW – Islam Abduganievich, you have told, that there were arguments to think that a serious preparation has been conducted during 3-6 months. Can we say today in the territory of which country this preparation has been conducted? You have also said phone calls had been tracked from the territory of Uzbekistan to Kirghiziya and to Afghanistan. For example, whether there was a call to Kirghiziya, for instance, to Batken or somewhere? In other words can we track the geography of these calls in more details? And if it is possible, how many bandits have gone away?

A: I.Karimov – Well, I will start with last question. Today have been informed that about ten or rather more have disappeared. It is now specified. And those corpses, which were found, should be identified. Therefore all my information in this regard is not reliable unless we identify those who found there.
With regard to particular phone call - we have tracked one phone call to Afghanistan, another to Osh, and the third to Jalal-Abad.
And with regard to what is going on here or yesterday's events in Andijan, I want to say that the main center where it formed is South Kyrgyzstan and the territory of Ferghana Valley. I repeat, it is our preliminary data. All plans have been formed in the south Kyrgyzstan and in the territory of Ferghana Valley. However, it is not excluded, that many of international criminals which have become skilled on these things, of course, could take part in it. By the way, among the wounded today we have one Kirghiz, the citizen of Kyrgyzstan, let alone about those Uzbeks who live in the south of Kyrgyzstan. So such facts are trustworthy and authentic.

Q: Nik. Colman, France Press - Mister President can you answer a question who has given the order, or has started to shoot yesterday the first. And one more question – today there are reports that in Andijan people have gathered again. What measures will be undertaken?

A: I.Karimov - On your first question – who has ordered to shoot at military personnel who bore service in patrol battalion and has killed five innocent military men - I do not know, who has ordered to shoot at them. Who ordered to shoot at military unit, at a brigade and kill including officers I do not know as well. But I know, that what are your interested in. You are interested in knowing who has ordered to shoot at them. You journalists are anxious about this, because it is in fact it disturbs you, because it is “a fried fact”. And on this fact you can earn points and dividends. Again and again, I repeat, why you have not asked who gave an order to shoot at military men. If you put a question in this contest I would say that you are objective person.
And now I want to answer your question, I never leave from the answer. Nobody has ordered to shoot at them. I have told you all epopee. The negotiations have begun at eight in the mornings, Minister of Internal Affairs Almatov and Governor Begaliev carried the negotiations, also other representatives of the public took part. The negotiations continued until 17.00, - nine hours. Nobody did shoot at them.
I would like you to emphasize properly that seeing that law enforcement bodies arriving and blocking them, the group decided to burst from the building. Around at 19.40 three groups left the building in three directions out of town. Law enforcement bodies organized pursuit. When pursue, they were shooting certainly and there was what had happened. You probably will agree that if felons step back and shoot the law enforcement bodies have to open fire to protect themselves. Here is the answer to this question. Have I answered all questions? One more. Yes, indeed, today about 200 persons has gathered nearby regional administrative building, mainly old men, women, they were relatives of those felons who yesterday seized that building and, in general, they supported them. In spite of they are felons, but they supported them. That is quite clear, that is quite natural. And they stated their points of view, their indignations. But there is a rigid, concrete instruction from the Minister for Internal Affairs, who commands the staff, not apply the force over them. Earlier today the representatives of the public society – Mayer of the city and others – have had negotiations with them. I repeat once again, today by phone I have categorically forbidden using both physical force and military of course. It is categorically forbidden. Nobody is fighting with women, old men and children. I will be appreciating if you write down these words. In Uzbekistan nobody is fighting with women, old men and children.


Q: Igor Riskin from ORT – Mr.President, please let as know, is it possible to say that a tragic event in Andijan in some sense is a fault or shortage of Uzbek law enforcement structures. And will it be any conclusions, any punishments or any rigid decisions with respect to these structures in Uzbekistan?

A: Karimov: - Please, understand my position, I by myself have stayed for the whole day there, have taken part in decision-making in many questions. Certainly, unexpected attack on patrol-sentry duty, a battalion, and police office has been occurred and there is a fault of those victims including officers, who were at the service. Those, who could foresee that event and prevent it. Secondly, they will respond who were on guard, especially in prison, who had no put concrete obstacles and it has allowed the track to overturn a gate, etc. and to capture the prison. And, I already yesterday have taken some measures about which in a case of need you would be informed. First of all, the head of regional police department will be released and also some regional and city officials will be released. And, the most important thing, on my opinion, taking some position in the city, they should know people’s moods; they should know what would be tomorrow in the city. If the security service and police office do not know about it, I think, they are poor workmen. Here is answer on your question.

Q. Peter Kom, German newspaper - How many people gathered yesterday at the Central Square of the city? Can we now visit the city?

A: I.Karimov - Firstly, nobody gathered at the Square, they gathered in three different places, I have already told about it. The first place was the building of regional administration where they have used the women, old men and children as a shield. The second place was before the building of regional police department which was later stormed by. There were about 200-300 person there. And the last one was the building of National Security Service. And nobody gathered at other squares. Concerning the visit to Andijan, I hope this issue will be resolved in due course by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs which gives for all of you accreditation and will give an opportunity to visit and estimate the situation. My personal view is no one country when there is a military collision, I do not know such countries, which would allow the journalists to demonstrate their bravery, etc. I think that tomorrow or day after tomorrow these opportunities will be given to you. In any case we cannot hide anything and it is useless. In any case, all the facts will be known. I do not doubt of it. If the question consists what interpretation, what comments would be done, it is clear. But today you have heard my comment. You will go to Andijan, meet people and collect their comments. Certainly, relatives of those who was lost and, I mean duped young men, etc., no one mother would say her son was a felon. Have you heard before in any developed European country that any mother had admitted her son as a gangster? Could you try to answer on this question? Such is no possible, especially in the Central Asian family or east family never the child happens is guilty.

Q: Akhborot TV (Uzbekistan) - Many chatterers among politicians have started to predict the same events in Uzbekistan as it recently had been occurred in Kyrgyzstan and other CIS countries. You, as the Head of Security Council and High commander of Armed Forces of Uzbekistan, could you estimate the activity of law enforcement structures - the Ministry of Internal Affairs and National Security Service?

A: I.Karimov – Answering to your question I would like to say that if estimate the work of law enforcement bodies - Ministry of Internal Affairs and National security service of Uzbekistan, so it will be wrong to that I am for 100% satisfied from their work. I can say to you that during past days we implemented very huge training works with them and recent events in Andijan was a big test for them from which they should draw a conclusions. The events in Andijan is a big tragedy for the whole Uzbekistan. The real patriots are not happy with these events. Western journalists could not understand this, but Uzbek journalists must understand this tragedy. We must do everything in order that this kind of tragedies could not happen again. I can say that in the middle of June there will be wide-scale military trainings in Tashkent. Decree on it was signed two weeks ago. The purpose of these trainings will be prevention of any terrorist acts which occurred in 2004 in Tashkent. Military trainings will be held with the participation of representatives of Ministry of Internal Affairs and National Security Service and other law enforcement bodies.

BBC: I would like to clarify the fact, who are gathering today in the square of Andijan, who are they?

A: I.Karimov – I already answered this question, that is not some public is gathering in the square, they are, relatives of those who took part in this action, first of all, the people who are concerned about their relatives. And that is why, I would like once again to assure you that strict order has been given not to use force against anyone.
As far as your early reaction to the events in Andijan from yesterday that all law-enforcement agencies run away, I think that you are not right. This is most likely the journalist’s method. Let’s count like that. Because you have not seen that. Somebody from your acquaintances called you and let you in these affairs. Russian people say: Fear takes molehills for mountains. In these cases, as usual, the hyperbola is working and increasing what does not exist in reality. Nobody was scared and did not run away, policemen and security of the city of Andijan behaved bravely. Therefore some rumors spreaded by the some journalists that there was panic and anarchy in the city like in Osh and Jalalabad are not true. Therefore I should say that in Uzbekistan this was not the case and will never happen because everyone will execute his responsibilities, and will not run away.

Q: Agency Reuter – please, tell us, yesterdays events without any doubt created big impressions for your people, disturbed them and it’s possible new unrests. What measures will you take in order to prevent?

A: I.Karimov. Firstly, I would like to answer question with question. What sign of unrest you see in Tashkent? Where you drive all roads are open. I think there is no logic in your discourse. If you drive easily today and yesterday, you see no element of unrest, and I think that the far we will be from this date, the more people will have information, the calmer it will be. But you see no sign of unrests in Tashkent, where you know and meet people. And I also have not received any information. Of course, there is unrest in Andijan-city and –region. That’s emotional experience and empathy of people. I tell you again that those who prepared this action has own supporters among the population. We assess sensible enough and it is objective. That’s why, we will undertake measures to prevent this, emotional experience of people or unrest of them, I will answer and want you to publish. I respect your agency, and has enough information, and personally making sure, Reuter is objective agency. I would like you to pass to your governing people, not only here but also outside.
As a President I consider Reuter as an objective agency on the background of others. And I would like to tell you what measures we undertake. We will strengthen the democracy. I will not open our plans but on the way to democracy, liberalization our society that statements, plans, programs which I stated during the joint session of our parliament will be developed and strengthen. This is not a PR act, as some began to copy, state with their statements to the people and so on. I am far from this. My every idea, I have there five directions. On which directions the working group is working today. Very soon I will work with each separate group in order to raise this proposals on the decree level, projects of the law which will be introduced to the parliament. This will be implemented step by step. In the nearest future the group of people will visit USA. This group also will visit Germany. The main purpose of their visit is to learn the skills and experience of USA and Germany in the liberalization of judiciary system. 13 people from law enforcement bodies will visit these countries.
In the sphere of TV and in the sphere of mass-media all that is mentioned there will be realized. The funds will be created in order to support first of all foreign and non-governmental mass-media. The special TV channel – public channel will be created as well as other such measures, like the establishment of civil society and its development. But the most important thing that we have to develop the democratic perception of the people. Because this is the most efficient antidote for religious extremism. This is the main problem of today and I would like to stress that, said President Karimov. If we will reach this goal with the support of the developed democratic states this would be the best result we are looking for, he added. Therefore, President also stressed, that the measures against such events should include the deepening and development of democratic processes and to approach to standards of civil society. Yes there are some obstacles and problems, maybe measures that we adopted are not enough, but there is one saying I want to remind: “Everyone think that he is commander while he is watching the fight from aside”, President said. Therefore, when you are looking from outside to the processes in Uzbekistan you can provide a lot of advice, he added. But it is easy to give an advise, then to realize them, because there are always a lot of problems that needed to be solved, Uzbek President said.
At the end of his press-conference President repeated that the people behind the Andijan events knew very well how it is disgusting and a very serious damage to our image, therefore the events of Andijan should be analyzed and the proper conclusions provided.



2009 anno dello sviluppo