Friday, September 22, 2006

Where is President Karimov's nephew?

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President Karimov's nephew and independent jouranlist Jamshid Karimov

Yesterday, it was reported that a nephew of Uzbekistan’s President Karimov had disappeared. The nephew’s name is Jamshid Karimov, and his deceased father Arslan was Islam Karimov’s older brother. Jamshid Karimov, however, is not only the nephew of President Karimov; he is an independent journalist who reportedly had done work for ferghana.ru and IWPR, both of which are critical of President Karimov’s regime. According to ferghana.ru, Jamshid disappeared shortly after getting in an argument with a doctor at a hospital where his mother was being treated for diabetes. Jamshid’s family has told ferghana.ru that they have heard that he is in a “sanitorium,” which they believe to be a psychiatric hospital, and they fear that he may be in danger as a potential political prisoner. According to the Russian newspaper “Novye Izvestiya,” there is reason to believe that the journalist’s disappearance may be political since Jamshid had already been essentially under house arrest since August when he reportedly sought an exit visa to leave Uzbekistan. The implication is that President Karimov,while tolerating his nephew's disloyalty at home may have feared what he could do if he was abroad.

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