By Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector (i.e. president) of the University of Dundee. Craigmurray.org.uk.
A very curious puff piece has turned up in the Guardian for holidays in Uzbekistan, which fails entirely to mention that it is one of the world’s least free countries and most repressive dictatorships. Nor is this irrelevant to tourism, as there could well be serious problems for visiting religious muslims or gays, and it very definitely impinges on everybody’s freedom to move around.
I do not personally oppose people going on holiday to Uzbekistan. But I would advise people to avoid government organised official tours and stay in small private hotels, not government-run ones. And be very careful. Contact with the freer world however is, in general, good for Uzbek people.
But that does not explain the lack of context for the Guardian piece nor the fact that, though there is a comment pointing out the human rights record, two people have contacted me through this website to say they posted comments about it that the Guardian deleted. How many more has the Guardian deleted by people who did not go to the substantial trouble of contacting me to say so?