ANDIJAN 13 – WIKILEAKS: Tadjibayeva trail opens with charges of U.S. and French support! (01.02.2006)

1. (C) Summary: The trial of human rights activist Mutabar Tadjibayeva opened in a small town near Tashkent on January 30. The charges against her include having received funding from the U.S. and French Embassies, which she used to distribute literature intended to sow panic among the populace. The indictment does not fault Tadjibayeva for receiving the grants, only for “misusing” them and failing to pay taxes on the income. However, the accusation suggests that foreign funding for local NGOs, and perhaps Western intent to “destabilize” the government, could come up in the trial itself. End summary.

2. (C) The trial of Margilon-based human rights actvist Mutabar Tajibayeva opened on January 30 in ower Chirchik District Criminal Court, located i the small town of Dustobod about 45 miles from Tashkent. According to Human Rights Watch staff wo attempted to attend the trial, police were reprtedly searching all cars entering Dustobod, and denying entry into the ton to international and domestic trial monitors. Human Rights Watch representatives were not allowe to enter the town. In the hearing, presiding jdge Abdulaziz Yuldoshev reportedly postponed the trial until January 31 to give Tajibayeva furtheropportunity to familiarize herself with the inditment.

3. (C) Included in the 39-page indictment, of which Post obtained a copy, is the accusation that, “…in starting the activity of her illegally organized civic organization, Burning Hearts, she received $5,620 in financial aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development and $200 from the French Embassy and misused it to distribute materials which were intended to threaten public safety and order, spread panic among the populace, and use slander and rumors to disturb the peace and destabilize the situation…” The indictment also accuses her of failing to pay required taxes on the grant income.

4. (C) In March 2002, through the Embassy’s Democracy Commission program (Note: Not USAID. End note.), Tadjibayeva received a grant of exactly $5,620 to conduct trial monitoring in the Ferghana Valley. During the one-year grant period, she failed to submit timely activity reports, and the grant was not renewed. The French DCM recently told poloffs that the $200 from the French Embassy noted in the indictment was likely a personal gift from his predecessor. Tadjibayeva was attempting to monitor the trial of accused Akromiylar members in Andijon when the May 2005 unrest broke out.

5. (C) Comment: Tadjibayeva’s case began with a charge of extortion based on a dubious complaint from a man who bought and sold fish from Tadjibayeva’s fishing farm. It has since been transformed into a mass of allegations accusing her of spreading lies in attempts to subvert the government. In the first Andijon-related trial of terrorist suspects, GOU statements suggested the United States and other Western governments were trying to use human rights NGOs to spread public disorder and destabilize Uzbekistan. In light of those accusations, it is interesting that the charges against Tadjibayeva specifically mention “misusing” U.S. and French funds, not simply accepting them. That said, the fact that U.S. funds are mentioned in the charges at all means that foreign funding for local NGOs, and perhaps even Western intent to “destabilize” the government, may come up in the trial itself.


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