Return the assets stolen by the corrupt ruling elite of Uzbekistan to the people of this country

Assets acquired by the ruling elite in Uzbekistan as a result of the corruption scheme in telecommunications sector should be confiscated and returned to the victims of corruption:

OPEN LETTER OF UZBEK ACTIVISTS TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF BELGIUM, IRELAND, LUXEMBOURG, THE NETHERLANDS, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A group of Uzbek activists, including Nadejda  Atayeva, Umida Niyazova, Sanjar Umarov, Yodgor Obid, Alisher Taksanov, Ismail Dadadjanov, Dovudkhon Nazarov, Alisher Abidov, Mirrakhmat Muminov, Dmitry Tikhonov and Ulugbek Khaydarov, have called upon the governments of the USA, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg to support the case filed by the US Department of Justice to forfeiture $850 million, amassed by the ruling elite of Uzbekistan as a result of the corruption scheme in the telecommunications sector. Activists urge the governments not to return the assets to the Government of Uzbekistan, which is responsible for the offense, and to use these funds to redress for the victims of corruption, i.e. the people of Uzbekistan. An example of such fair repatriation of ill-gotten assets is the Bota Fund in Kazakhstan created out of “Kazakhgate” assets. If the Uzbek government doesn’t agree to create conditions for such a fund, these assets must be frozen into a trust accountable to the aforementioned governments and the civil society of Uzbekistan.

Here is the short version of this letter: 

We, undersigned, are writing to express our hope that the cases filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (No 1:15-cv-05063 of June 29, 2015 and No 1:16-cv-01257-UA of February 19, 2016), to forfeit the assets in the total amount of $850 million resulting from corrupt dealings in the telecommunications sector in Uzbekistan will succeed and the European states in whose banks these assets are frozen -- Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Switzerland -- will support these cases and take decision in the interests of the victims of corruption. While we have been forced to flee our homeland because of the risk of repression by the Karimov regime, we continue to participate in the public life of our country from exile.

We call on you not to return these assets to the government of Uzbekistan at this time because the government of Uzbekistan fails to address the issues of systemic corruption that is endemic to this government and fatally undermines the independence and integrity of the executive, legislature and judiciary.  After the death of Karimov, government authorities promised to reform the judicial system and adopt anti-corruption legislation, yet there is no reason to believe that the government will end the corruption that keeps it in power. Even during the reign of Karimov, the government adopted many good laws and signed and ratified a number of international conventions on human rights and against corruption. But in practice, the government has not implemented any of its laws or fulfilled its international obligations.

We believe that the proceeds from corruption should be used as redress for the people of Uzbekistan, truly the victims of state organized corruption.  Given the unlikeliness that the Uzbek government would agree to allow really independent disbursement of these funds in the near future, we call for the freezing of these assets into a transparent trust fund under international auspices accountable to key stakeholders, including civil society.

We invite all those who want justice for the victims of corruption to join this petition and sign it.

 

 

This petition will be delivered to:
  • THE GOVERNMENTS OF BELGIUM, IRELAND, LUXEMBOURG, THE NETHERLANDS, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND AND THE USA


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