Posted by: Borderless Borderguard | November 6, 2007

again on Andijan…

In the beginning of the year (2007) I read Akiner’s report on Andijan event. Honestly, I was impressed by some of the facts. The thing is, one reads only two versions of the scenario:

a) Uzbek government is evil, and the rest – innocent victims (thousands of victims)

b) Uzbek government is a hero, the rest – evil (only a hundred-and-something of victims)

Akiner in her report asks herself, why there is such a huge discrepancy between government sources and other NGO sources (HRW, OSCE and etc.)

There is a very good description of an event in Rome when Akiner tries to prove her positions, speaks about human rights organizations acting almost like soviet-style-officials who can’t tolerate anyone who thinks differently. In you can read more about it. Very good comments follow the post.

Of course, none of those reports are absolute truths. God knows what the truth is. I am sure if one is going to interview each who has been there, each will have their own version of this truth. It is good to have different versions, the state version (be sceptical!), human rights organizations’ version (still be sceptical!!!!), and Akiner’s version (be sceptical!). I think it would be naive to expect someone to publish a holy truth about Andijan.

There is another interesting article though, written by a former manager of Freedom House Central Asian Programme, Margarita Assenova. It is interesting, because it is written by the Executive Director (herself) of a Washington-based NGO, Institute for new democracies. Usually NGOs write in a different style. She almost supports Akiner, in a way, that she accuses western media reporting for creating a black-and-white picture of Andijan tragedy. Everything that has to do with armed insurgents has been underreported or fully ignored. She makes it clear in her report that “real insurgents have been involved, civilians – used as human shields”.

Back in Uzbekistan, many people don’t know what the Westerners know about Andijan. They didn’t, and I would assume still do not, know, about sanctions. What they know is, “something terrible happened there. Some innocent people died. But who knows whose fault it is. One is for sure, Uzbek government knows no mercy. Maybe this is for the sake of the nation, for its security. But the nation now has to be careful”.



  1. […] Asian Borders reflects on the Western studies about the tragic massacre in the Uzbek city of Andijan, saying that in […]

  2. I know this is anecdotal but… A close relative of mine is Uzbek, has lived there all his life and, except for being generally upset about how things are going on with his country, is non-political and has never worked for any foreign organization. His close friend joined the SNB a few years ago and during a conversation one night his friend mentioned that what happened in Andijan was awful, a massacre worse than could be believed (his friend later quit for various reasons). I don’t know what he witnessed and what he exactly said, but the meaning of those comments certainly did not fully support the government position.

  3. What happened in Andijan is described as tragedy in Uzbekistan. The problem with the government was that they blocked all other sources of information, which were reporting on the event, leaving huge space for rumors, fantasy and fear. I do know some people from SNB as well, and I KNOW they are not evils. Mostly, they themselves do not know much.

  4. Frank, I don’t think either of the sides ignores that Andijan was a tragedy. All sides agree that people were killed.
    The dilemma is the number of people and the reasons.
    What one side calls a peaceful demonstration, the other calls an armed uprising. There were both – civilians and military – killed.
    One has to look at the core of the issue and speak about motives. Why do people take arms, or why the public supports them? I think, the issue here is not much different from the current challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  5. As usual, good, intresting and really useful post for all readers and specially for me, thanks!
    Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: