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Uzbek Dissidents 'Occupy' Gulnara Karimova's Geneva House

Uzbek dissident Safar Bekjon stands next to the sign identifying Gulnora Karimova's house in Geneva on December 23.
GENEVA -- A group of Uzbek dissidents in Switzerland has occupied the house of Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

Safar Bekjon, an Uzbek dissident, said he and four others had been squatting at Karimova's Geneva house since December 23.

Bekjon, speaking to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, said his goal was to draw attention to the vast amount of money spent on the unoccupied house.

According to the Swiss press, Karimova purchased the house in 2009 for around $18 million.

Bekjon said police came to the house on December 23 but did not force them off the property.

He says that under Swiss law they can only be evicted after a court ruling.

A banner outside the house read, "This villa belongs to Uzbek dictator Karimov's daughter."

Bekjon did not say how long the group planned to squat at the house.

With reporting by Fergana