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Uzbeks Protest U.K. Ambassador's Removal

29 October 2004 -- Rights activists protested in Tashkent today against Britain's dismissal of its ambassador to Uzbekistan.

About a dozen protesters gathered outside the British Embassy holding signs in support of Craig Murray, who had been an outspoken critic about the human rights situation in the country.

The signs read: "Uzbek people love our friend Murray" and "Don't give up Mr. Craig Murray, fight for democracy and freedom in Uzbekistan."

Murray had criticized Uzbekistan's government for human rights abuses and recently accused British and U.S. intelligence services of using information collected from people tortured by Uzbekistan's security services.

The British Foreign Office removed Murray two weeks ago, saying the action was not related to his allegations but because he had lost the confidence of senior officials and colleagues.