Uzbek despot to become torturer-for-life?

Uzbekistan’s incumbent President Islam Karimov was unanimously nominated to run for a third seven-year presidential term this December by his Liberal Democratic Party Nov. 6. Karimov is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term, and the New York Times writes that “election officials have not yet explained the legal mechanism justifying his nomination.” (NYT, Nov. 7; Interfax, Nov. 6) Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch is urging the UN Committee Against Torture, now convening in Geneva, to condemn Uzbekistan for flagrantly violating the global ban on torture. In a 90-page report issued Nov. 7, “Nowhere to Turn: Torture and Ill-Treatment in Uzbekistan,” HRW accuses the Uzbek government of using a wide range of methods against detainees, including beatings with truncheons, asphyxiation with plastic bags and gas masks, electric shocks, and sexual humiliation. HRW director Juliette De Rivero said that ill treatment of detainees in Uzbekistan is “endemic.” (RFE/RL, Nov. 7)

“Liberal Democratic Party,” eh? Gotta love it. Karimov seems to be taking a page from Vladimir Zhirinovsky‘s book.

See our last posts on Uzbekistan and the politics of Central Asia.