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, the Uzbek government said through a statement.
India, as a close partner of Uzbekistan, has also hoped for early return of stability in the restive region. “”We have been following the proposed constitutional reform process in Uzbekistan, including the recent developments in Karakalpakstan. We express our condolences to families of the deceased and extend sympathies to the injured. We have seen the steps taken by the Government of Uzbekistan to restore law and order and prevent any further escalation. As a close and friendly partner of Uzbekistan, we hope for an early stabilization of the situation,” according to a MEA statement.
On July 1-2, 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, claimed the Uzbek government.
These illegal actions bore obvious signs of a pre-planned sabotage aimed at fomenting separatism, destabilizing and splitting a peaceful, united, democratic country, according to the Uzbek government.
Hiding behind populist slogans, 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, claimed the statement.
Repeated attempts were made to storm the buildings of the Jokargy Kenes (parliament), police Department of Nukus city, 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, 23 of them are in serious condition. A total of 270 employees of state bodies received injuries of varying severity, according to the Uzbek government.
“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,” alleged the Uzbek government.
The Government of Uzbekistan strongly condemned any illegal actions aimed at forcible seizure of power, propaganda of separatist ideas, incitement to hatred, calls for mass riots and violence. “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. The results of the investigation will be brought to the attention of the relevant international organizations.
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, grocery stores, markets, bakeries, banks, hospitals and other social facilities are functioning. Electricity, gas and water are supplied in normal mode.
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.
We declare 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.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan calls 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.
Uzbekistan remains committed to open dialogue and interaction with the international community, including in matters of protecting legitimate human interests, rights and freedoms, according to the statement.