Aug 14, 2009
According to Ferghana.ru, the Uzbek Opposition Birdamlik started a hunger strike on August 10 in front of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty HQ in Washington, DC, USA. It seems these 18 individuals are upset that RFE/RL censors its Uzbek service (Radio Ozodlik) and does not allow air time for opposition leaders. They have set up tents and will continue their hunger strike until their demands are met.
It is reported that Martins Zvaners, the public relations deputy director of Radio Liberty, met the protesters and promised them time for an interview so that they can announce their requirements in the extended format and answer questions raised by RFE/RL management and listeners. However, no one has showed up to interview the protesters yet.
The hunger strike goes on, though one of the protesters, age 73, might end his participation early. Meanwhile other Uzbek opposition leaders have joined the protest by starting hunger strikes in Prague and Stockholm.
What I take from this? 1. It's too bad Karimov's regime is so efficient at keeping the people down that the opposition is not living IN the country. 2. Uzbek opposition, you are welcome to create YouTube videos, and I am happy to post them.