UGF

Does Mirziyoyev read news from websites which are blocked in Uzbekistan?

President Mirziyoyev has read out to parliamentarians a news article published on the website eltuz.com which is blocked in Uzbekistan. Mirziyoyev said that he had found the article himself online.

The article entitled “My wife would have survived if they had operated on her in time” was written on behalf of Vohid Amonov and was published on the eltuz.com website on 11 July 2017.

Mirziyoyev read out this article during a speech at a meeting of political parties and representatives of the parliament on 12 July.

“On 3 July, a 25-year-old woman was brought to the central hospital in Beshariq where she died. According to her husband, Vohid Amonov, the tragedy happened due to delayed emergency medical assistance and the doctors’ indifference”, the president cited from the article.

The president failed to mention who had published the article but otherwise read it out in full.

The article says that a laboratory at the hospital had been closed due to the arrival of inspectors from the Supreme Assembly (Parliament) and that the results of the cause of the woman’s death had therefore not been processed.

Mirziyoyev drew attention to the following passage:

“They shut down the laboratory because they were awaiting representatives from the Supreme Assembly. They said that important people would come. We have all become important people. When I visit regions of Uzbekistan, I try not to bother people as much as possible. Why do I visit a remote district? I go there because I want the heads of executive bodies to visit those places. I am holding meetings on peace and health issues myself, because there is no order in our health system”, Mirziyoyev said.

The website of eltuz.com, like Radio Liberty and BBC, is blocked in Uzbekistan and can only be accessed through proxy servers.

Some reports claim that news published by independent and international sources used to be brought to the attention of Islam Karimov during his presidency too.

Mirziyoyev’s reaction to having found such a critical article online showed how unusual it is to come across dissenting opinion in the press. He said that no one had brought this article to him and that he himself had gone online and found it. Gaining access to what should have been blocked was obviously unexpected.

Obervers think that this may be an encouraging sign from the president regarding the persecution of independent reporters.

After Mirziyoyev came to power, the BBC’s Uzbek Service, announced its decision to recruit a reporter to work in Tashkent following a significant break in its activity.

Originally published by the BBC’s Uzbek Service

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The informational website eltuz.com is a project of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights.