Tashkent, 6 July 2022 (TDI): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan provided clarity and objective information about the events in Karakalpakstan in an official statement.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, some mass media and human rights organizations, with reference to unnamed sources, exaggerate various kinds of assumptions and unreliable reports about the events in the city of Nukus of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

It said that the unfounded statements are being made about the allegedly illegal use of force to “disperse a peaceful rally,” “silencing independent voices and blocking information,” including by declaring a state of emergency.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan clarified the events in Karakalpakstan and provide more detailed and objective information on this case.

The events of 1st and 2nd July

According to the information provided in the statement, on the 1st and 2nd of July, an attempt was made in Nukus to undermine the constitutional order, territorial integrity, and unity of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Under the pretext of protesting against the proposals for constitutional amendments submitted for public discussion, a group of malefactors organized violent actions, clashes, and attempts to forcibly seize buildings of state authorities.

It said these illegal actions bore obvious signs of pre-planned sabotage aimed at fomenting separatism, destabilizing and splitting a peaceful, united, democratic country.

Furthermore, by hiding behind populist slogans, and spreading fake news through mobile communications and the Internet, hostile forces tried to en masse citizens in unconstitutional activities. This forced the adoption of measures to temporarily restrict Internet communication.

Damage and casualties:  

During the mass pogroms and outrages, repeated attempts were made to storm the buildings of the Jokargy Kenes (parliament), police Department of Nukus city, and National Guard Department; firearms and hostages from among law enforcement officers were seized; arson, damage, and destruction of state, public and personal property were carried out everywhere, significant damage was done to the infrastructure of the city.

In addition, 107 law enforcement officers were seriously injured during the attacks, and 23 of them are in serious condition as revealed in the statement. A total of 270 employees of state bodies received injuries of varying severity.

Moreover, it said that the brutality of the actions of the rioters was the result of the provocative actions of a group of people who manipulated people’s minds and cannot be qualified as peaceful demonstrations of citizens.

As a result of these illegal actions, 18 people were killed, as previously stated. It should be noted that among the active participants in the attacks, the overwhelming majority were people who were in a state of drug and alcohol intoxication.

The stance of the government and response:

Sharing the stance of the Government, the statement said that the Government of Uzbekistan strongly condemns any illegal actions aimed at forcible seizure of power, propaganda of separatist ideas, incitement to hatred, and calls for mass riots and violence.

Thanks to the measures taken and adequate actions of law enforcement agencies, illegal actions were suppressed.

Moreover, it revealed that Investigative measures are currently underway on the events in Karakalpakstan. As a party to international human rights treaties, Uzbekistan is committed to full compliance with the principles of transparent, independent, and impartial investigation, as well as ensuring guarantees of due process and fair trial. Accordingly, the results of the investigation will be brought to the attention of the relevant international organizations.

Actions to ensure stability: 

It assured that all actions taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to stabilize the situation in Karakalpakstan are carried out within the legal framework and are primarily aimed at preventing threats to human life and health.

Currently, mobile communications are fully operational on the territory of Karakalpakstan, and grocery stores, markets, bakeries, banks, hospitals, and other social facilities. Electricity, gas, and water are supplied in normal mode.

In addition, The relevant State bodies of Uzbekistan inform the public on a daily basis about the current situation in Karakalpakstan. In this regard, statements about the lack of access to information are groundless.

The statement also declared that no forces can prevent the Republic of Uzbekistan from consistently continuing the course of democratic reforms and confidently moving towards building and strengthening a humane, legal, and social state that cares about the honor and dignity, well-being, and interests of every citizen.

Request to the mass media and Human Rights Organizations to opt for an objective approach:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan called on all mass media and human rights organizations to approach the events in Karakalpakstan objectively, avoiding hasty conclusions and unilateral statements based on various unreliable sources.

Lastly, the statement claimed that the Republic of Uzbekistan remains committed to open dialogue and interaction with the international community, including in matters of protecting legitimate human interests, rights, and freedoms.