Monday, July 02, 2012 -
Uzbekistan’s diaspora opposition leaders and dissidents met in the Czech Republic over the weekend to hash out ways of toppling authoritarian President Islam Karimov from power.
Karimov has ruled the tightly controlled country along Soviet-style command lines since its independence in 1991. Rights watchdogs call Uzbekistan one of the world’s most repressive republics.
The diaspora opposition movements, brought together under a new umbrella group People’s Movement of Uzbekistan, feel emboldened by the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Prominent exiled Uzbek political opposition leader and writer Muhammad Salih participated in the conference.
Salih, 62, lives in Norway with political asylum protection from the Norwegian government.
This is the second conference of the People’s Movement of Uzbekistan since the inaugural event in the German capital Berlin in May 2011. That meeting brought together figures from Europe, Canada, Australia, and the United States.
There they said they would instigate civil disobedience incidents inside the country for regime change.