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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May 2005, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Uzbeks react to crackdown
Uzbek women cry in temporary refugee camp on border with Kyrgyzstan
Several hundred people are feared killed in recent protests
Since the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan was gripped by protests and a bloody crackdown, dozens of Uzbeks have been e-mailing the BBC News website with their thoughts and experiences.

Here are some of their comments.

People are afraid of this ruthless government of Karimov and are desperate to get rid of him. Believe me - there is no Islamic factor, it is just to save his position. He is maligning Islam and Muslims. People need the basic things... freedom, trade and better living standards. Karimov is denying the people of Uzbekistan basic rights and has killed his own people for nothing.
Javid, Tashkent

What lies behind these protests? Government oppression, corruption and unemployment lie behind these protests. Firing upon civilians shows how weak Karimov's regime is. We were shocked to find out how the wounded civilians were finished off one by one. You have to be very weak and cowardly to do that.
Ruslan, Tashkent

Karimov should be tried for all the crimes he has committed against citizens of Uzbekistan. Not only Karimov, but also all of the government should be tried for the theft, corruption, and killing of innocents. May Allah help the people of Uzbekistan.
Abdullah, Kokand

I call all people who respect human rights to protest against Uzbekistan's dictatorial government
Abdullah, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

This is exactly how extremists are made. When people are deprived of the very basic facilities and their livelihood and are left with no hope they turn towards religion. Christians will go to church, Muslims go to mosques and yet they are termed as Muslim extremists. They have peaceful demonstrations and they are crushed. They make requests to world leaders and nobody comes to rescue them. This is how the world is, this is how the hatred is brewed, this is how Muslims are losing faith in world powers and how they are radicalised.
Junny, Tashkent

I totally support the rebels as they express the ideas of the local people. I live in Uzbekistan and it is hardly possible to say in any words what our government is like. We don't have any democracy here. I think instead of supporting President Karimov that Russia should help the people.

In Uzbekistan, it's impossible to create a revolution like in the Ukraine. Central Asian people cannot achieve "freedom of speech" and economic welfare with peace demonstrations. This is not Europe.
Elbek, Tashkent

The government is taking the right measures to put down these people, many criminals and Islamists are amongst them. They want a government similar to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Karimov isn't a dictator, he is a good man, all presidents are criticized, but are they ever praised for the good things they do? Let's be grateful to god that this little revolt hasn't spread. People spread rumours about Karimov, look at Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, he will leave his daughter as president when he leaves, is this democracy? I pray that the innocent people will find peace, but the law-breakers are getting the punishment that they deserve.
Jahongir, Tashkent

People in Uzbekistan are very simple people and it is most likely that these Andijan protests won't affect the entire country because we know how tough our government is. This Andijan problem will not spread. It will be contained and people in Uzbekistan will continue to live as they are.

Karimov should be arrested and tried! The names of the dead from the demonstrations shall be inscribed in a freedom monument in Tashkent. Where's the justice? Our economic stagnation, no human rights and extensive poverty are due to the crippling corruption which drives even our traditionally calm and patient people to extremes. They are not extremists but mere ordinary people expressing their views and they are murdered for it. They want jobs and bread on the table, nothing more... Everybody knows Karimov, though, any sign of dissent and he will arrest all. He would have no trouble shedding the blood of his own people.
Alisher, Tashkent

Protest or revolution will not help Uzbekistan. Assume Karimov resigned or was removed, what would happen? Will a new government create new jobs and decrease unemployment? I am sure it won't. First, over 50% of the population are below 18 and will need jobs soon. Will the US or any European country create such jobs? No. Secondly, the Uzbek people are not well educated and their skills will not allow them to find jobs. I support the government of Uzbekistan and its president. This is not a protest, this is a criminal act.
Anonymous, Tashkent

It is necessary to keep everything under strong control in Uzbekistan so radical Islamic groups do not use an unstable situation. Some people think they will have life like paradise if they remove Karimov. All this is questionable. Look at world history and some modern, real Muslim countries and try to analyse who has rights there!
Elena, Tashkent

There is no terrorist problem, people are fighting for freedom. Right now there are no jobs and they can't give food and buy food for their children. It's time to fight for we can't keep things like this, but people need outside help and we have to help them.
Fara, Tashkent

We Uzbeks do not wish to be ruled under an Islamic state. This will drive us back over 1,000 years and will result in the bloodshed of innocent people and the degradation of women. Islamic imperialists should keep out of Uzbekistan.
Karim, Tashkent

What next? I live here and I know that even if other parts of Uzbekistan are aware of the unrest in Andijan, they will just be frightened and fall dumb. Karimov will cool the unrest down and continue his reign until the new election, because he is not going to surrender as long as he is considered the father of Uzbeks. In fact, corruption around him and throughout the country has caused the fall of the Uzbek nation. Shame to those leaders who just think about their own peace of mind. It's ridiculous to ask for help from EU or US, as Karimov is always being smart with them.
Alisher, Samarkand


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