Universities ignore Uzbekistan human rights record

A string of British universities has established links with higher education institutions in a country whose human rights record is widely condemned as one of the worst in the world, with the full support of the British government, write Ian Cobain and Lidia Kurasinska for the Guardian.

The University of Westminster has set up a campus in Uzbekistan and at least five others – Cambridge, Bath, the University of East Anglia, the London College of Fashion and London Metropolitan University – have established partnerships in the country. The links were supported by the British Council and welcomed by the Foreign Office in the years after the 9/11 attacks as the UK tried to bolster relations with a strategically critical central Asian state that is a key transit point in NATO’s supply lines to Afghanistan.

During that period, Uzbekistan's human rights record remained abysmal, according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and it is said in some respects to have deteriorated. Some of the UK universities connected to Uzbekistan are reluctant to discuss its human rights record.
Full report on the Guardian site