Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 166

The Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan reconstituted itself at a congress held in Tashkent over the weekend under the chairmanship of Abdulmanop Pulatov, who returned to the country last month from the USA. The society adopted a new program and bylaws preparatory to applying for official registration, which had until now been denied. The congress was officially authorized, and Pulatov implied in his address that the official registration would be forthcoming. He gave the authorities credit for having released detainees defined by the Society as political, lifting restrictions on human rights monitoring, and conducting a dialogue with the Society on human rights issues. (Interfax, September 7)

Founded in late 1991 shortly after Uzbekistan proclaimed its independence, the Society faced restrictions on its activities. Pulatov was also one of the leaders of the Birlik opposition movement, banned by the authorities. Prosecuted for his activities, Pulatov was allowed to emigrate to the U.S. in 1993. President Islam Karimov on his June 1996 visit to the U.S. met with Pulatov and assured him that he would be free to resume political and human rights activities if he returned. Karimov’s overture reflects Tashkent’s growing political maturity since 1991 and its good relations with the U.S. which had interceded for Pulatov and his group.

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