Source Pravda.Ru

Uzbek opposition leader arrested for theft

Uzbek authorities have arrested an opposition leader on embezzlement charges, the Interior Ministry said Monday, after he pushed for the easing of autocratic rule. Chairman of the Sunshine Coalition Sanjar Umarov, a wealthy businessman-turned-politician, was arrested for "the theft of millions and embezzlement," the ministry said.

Umarov was detained on Saturday, the Fergana.ru Web site said.

Umarov called on the Uzbek government last week to start a political dialogue, and sent an open letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who was on a visit to Uzbekistan at the time. In the letter, the coalition expressed its intention to look for a resolution of the current political crisis in Uzbekistan, and called for stronger integration and economic ties with Russia.

The Sunshine Coalition was formed in April in the wake of the revolution in neighboring Kyrgyzstan that ousted President Askar Akayev. It gained prominence in May for denouncing the brutal quelling of a popular uprising in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan.

Rights groups said Uzbek troops fired on unarmed protesters, killing more than 700 people. The government contends the uprising was encouraged by Islamic extremists, and puts the death toll at 187.

A former scientist with a doctorate in physics, Umarov made his fortune in the cotton and oil businesses, and reportedly has strong business ties to the West. His wife and five children live in the United States.

Authoritarian Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who has ruled the former Soviet state for 16 years, has shut down opposition parties and conducted a relentless crackdown on political foes and Muslims, jailing thousands. No group has been able to mount a serious challenge to his rule.

T.E.

Comments
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Russia not pulling out from any international agreements, Putin says
Donbass without militia will be worse than Srebrenica - Putin
Donbass without militia will be worse than Srebrenica - Putin
Putin: Russia will continue spending enough on defence not to be killed
Putin: Russia will continue spending enough on defence not to be killed
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin: Russia will continue spending enough on defence not to be killed
Putin: Russia will continue spending enough on defence not to be killed
Putin in Egypt: Who's the big player in the Middle East?
Kim Jong-un's tactic of hard power teaches USA lesson of obedience
Russia leaves Syria, but USA stays, to spend some more
Turkey's Erdogan urges others to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Palestine
US military men depressed over of Russia's new T-5000 sniper rifle
Donbass without militia will be worse than Srebrenica - Putin
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin makes first comment on Trump's Jerusalem decision
North Korea declares victory over USA