Saturday, November 01, 2014


Transmission

Gulnara Defends Herself On Twitter Again (And This Time It's Even Weirder)

Gulnara Karimova
Gulnara Karimova
More than a week had passed, and still Andrew Stroehlein waited. On December 13, the communications director at the International Crisis Group (ICG) penned a detailed letter to Gulnara Karimova asking the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov to respond to allegations of torture, corruption, and worse in Uzbekistan. 

During a long and sometimes heated exchange on Twitter, Karimova had promised that, if presented with detailed data, she would respond to the charges. 

Two weeks, no response, and a flood of Instagram glamour shots later, Stroehlein's patience apparently ran out. 

Karimova responded almost instantly, but not to the litany of charges of abuse by the government. Instead, she posted four images of the e-mail exchange between her and Stroehlein from December 13 in the interest of "transparency" as she called it. She still has yet to respond to the ICG note, but the exchange between the two is interesting. Read the full exchange (as released by Karimova) here. Below are excerpts.

On December 6, Stroehlein wrote

In short, labels like "dictator's daughter," "most hated person in Uzbekistan," and others are difficult to avoid internationally, because you are a recognized face associated with the government. These labels leave a stain on every other activity you engage in abroad. 
 
The first option would be to distance yourself from the state symbolically and substantively....The second option would be to promote yourself as someone trying to reform the government from within the system. To do this, however, you would need to show real results on the ground -- political prisoners released, freedom of expression respected, children not forced into cotton fields each year, etc. Your new willingness to engage your critics is interesting, but no one will think it means real change unless there are results within Uzbekistan.

On December 13, Karimova responded -- although Stroehlein claims he never received any such thing -- with a long e-mail detailing her many humanitarian projects. 

If you would analyze my work and projects you could see that all of them are very logically fitted in one line worth to be trusted in....I work firmly and gradually building projects that I have chosen outside of any state programs and so on (without state financial aid even for functional part of Fund Forum). I try never to get involved in something I don't know well about or don't have professional interest in.

I believe in civil society and in changing mindset of people on all levels and all age segments. A lot can be done in any free society by consolidating thoughts and activities of people through NGOs and other organizations from the bottom up. Most of my projects are built through the needs of women, farmers, small business and kids education and creativity.

She continued: 

Regarding your ideas I think that I do try to make a difference every day of my life as you said: "to show real results" on the level of my work....Nevertheless for some reason you are trying to put on my shoulder "reform the government from within the system", which is very much new offer and responsibility for me!

She then adds:

On your line about my "now willingness to change your critics" and surrounding by "yes men" I could just smile as I always look for different colors around me, different way of expression around us and there is nothing "new" in willingness to communicate and hear different opinions also as long as it's going with open ears from both sides.

I appreciate your openhearted letter and points in it. I'll give it a thought, but also will try to translate your topics into exact activity I am interested in and spend most of energy of my life. 

Judging from the most recent exchange, it's unclear whether Karimova thinks her initial response is enough. What is clear is that Stroehlein doesn't think so. 


-- Zach Peterson
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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by: Anonymous
December 21, 2012 13:39
why does radio liberty give mrs. gulnara so much attention if there are no palpable results or new statement that somehow make or at least suggest a difference.

the text seems written by someone else. if she in fact did write it, well, it appears as a kind of "PR"-campaign. She wants the director of the ICG to
'analyze her work and projects', 'all of them are (apparently) very logically fitted in one line worth to be trusted in...', she 'works firmly and gradually building projects [...] (without state financial aid even for functional part of Fund Forum)'. She purportedly 'never tries to get involved in something she doesn't know well about or doesn't have professional interest in.'
all this sounds completely fabricated.

'believing in changing the mindset of people on all levels', 'consolidating thoughts and activities' from the bottom up. Most of her 'projects are built through the needs of women [...] and kids education and creativity'.

The interesting thing is that not many of these projects supposedly involving women and children are known.
instead she's is known as a "designer", "singer", "yoginya" and above all the "president's daughter".

global enterprises, the media, politicians and many people in the Western world talk about dictators and their families, criticize the situation on the ground but eventually love to see and to invite their families to do business with them.
do not ask only mrs gulnara about her influence. you might add some people in europe, the u.s., etc.

by: Nataly
December 21, 2012 13:47
ORLY?
Why Andrew didn't publish other letters on his website? He had promised that their dialogue will be open. Mr. Stroehlein, do you play to double game? Both of your letters have different meanings. Which one is real?

by: MD
December 21, 2012 13:51
congratulations! Did they asked you why you send two letters? Were they surprised? U don't know about it?? ))) WOW

by: Sanjar from: Moscow
December 21, 2012 13:52
So why at the personal blog of Mr.Stroehlein was written another letter? It seems like he wrote two letters: one for Gugusha, and another one for news.

by: Kamola from: Uzb
December 21, 2012 13:52
I've been very surprised, when I saw two letters from Mr. Stroehlein. Two different letters.
In Response

by: anonymous from: EU
December 21, 2012 14:28
Can tell you that there is nothing surprising here for those who knows his job.

by: Mikhail from: Moscow
December 21, 2012 13:57
How interesting that there were two letters, but "respected" Andrew remembered about the second. He don't answer the question, only reproaches. Just a provocateur. How to hold a dialogue with him? Unseriously!

by: Stan
December 21, 2012 14:13
don't understand your point. Woman can't post her pictures? What are you people? Who are you to judge THAT act? And it is obvious that she can't anwer thing she is not responsible to answer! All i think now that neither RFERL neither ICG are expert at all!
PS. Is ICG the same group whose employee was accused in Osh for fueling clashes between ethnic kyrgyz people and uzbeks?

by: Rustam Alimov
December 21, 2012 14:13
Stroehlein is well know instigator! Im not very surprised that he did publish the first letter arguing that he published all of them.

by: Abror from: Tashkent
December 21, 2012 14:25
I personally asked Mr. Stroehlein on twitter today about all this confusions with letters. It seems like he was selective in his transparency by hiding one of the letters. He also denied that she answered his first mail, but from the screen-shot it can be seen that she did answer. If he so easily lied publically this time, I’m curious if we can trust him afterwards.


by: Jake from: Wisconsin
December 21, 2012 19:31
Judging from these comments, Ms. Karimova would have a better time promoting her stance in this debate if even just one of her trolls spoke fluent English. Zach, could one of your people please translate whatever they're trying to say? I gather there's a dispute over a second email, but everything beyond that is lost in fog of emoticons, random capitalization, inconsistent verbs, and creative spelling. Thanks.
In Response

by: Abror from: Tashkent
December 22, 2012 08:10
Well, let me try to clarify what happened, even if my first comment is unclear for you.
1. Mr. Stroehlein argued in all possible interviews that he publishes all his email conversation with Mrs.Karimova.
2. However, as it appeared yesterday, he did not publish a letter to Mrs.Karimova where he presented his way of PR for her. (was it his offer…?)
3. Mr. Stroehlein agreed that letter exists, but he argued that she “never answered”, afterwards she posted a screen-shot of her answer to him, and it can clearly be seen that it was sent on December 13.
4. Questions are: why Mr. Stroehlein decided to hide this letter at the time when he supports transparent conversation, and why he implements double-standards?
5. How can this person may conduct trustful dialogue when he plays double-game, how can we trust him? His way of dialogue is based on provocations.

p.s. Dear Mr. Jake ,excuse my English, it is not my mother tong.
In Response

by: Jake from: Wisconsin
December 22, 2012 11:41
Thank you for taking the time to reply, Abror. I apologize for being rude in my original post.

Reading the information posted so far, Ms. Karimova's "evidence" that she answered Mr. Stroehlein consists of a document saved to Google Docs.

For context, I can produce a similar document offering comparable evidence that her father, President Karimov, has contacted me with a promise to abandon his wife and meet me in Denmark for a legal marriage so that we may live out the remainder of our lives in wedded bliss as husband and husband.

If that sounds too drastic, perhaps you would settle for similar evidence of 1) his heartfelt conversion to the Baha'i faith, 2) his background as a rogue agent recruited by the Bundesnachrichtendienst in the early 1970s, 3) his fear of public disclosure that his ethnic heritage is actually Tajik, 4) his true Masonic rank, or 5) some combination of these. I could even use a variety of attractive font faces.

As entertaining as such harmless nonsense sounds, a more practical move would be for Ms. Karimova and Mr. Stroehlein to arrange for their Internet Service Providers to provide actual documentary proof that an email was sent from the former to the latter on December 15. Crucially, this would include read receipts--also known as message disposition notifications or MDNs--exchanged between their ISPs' email servers. That would be literal (admissible in court) evidence that her email was not only sent but received and opened by Mr. Stroehlein, as opposed to being a mere phantom document saved on her computer and subsequently uploaded to Google Docs.

Finally, because their conversation has become a matter of public scrutiny (as always intended), issues of email and evidence could be avoided by posting all future correspondence to a public message board. Her politics probably predispose Ms. Karimova against trusting RFERL for such a purpose, but the Internet has no shortage of popular, convenient, neutral, and secure alternatives. Reddit or Newsvine come to mind.

Thank you, Abror. If you are connected to MHH/SNB, please extend my regards and sincere respect to the President's nephew, Mr. Jamshid Karimov, wherever he is currently being held (assuming he is still alive).
In Response

by: Abror from: Tashkent
December 22, 2012 13:27
Your apology accepted.
I am glad as long as you understood what was meant by my first post.
p.s.
If you are connected to Mr. Stroehlein, please tell that his game is clear, no further explanations and examples are needed at least for me to understand what his motives are.
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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