Ayaz Kala Fort, Khorezm Desert, Uzbekistan

Khorezm Desert

Ayaz Kala Fort, Khorezm Desert, Uzbekistan

“I don’t want to travel to everywhere, I just want to travel to Somewhere.”

It got cold while I was there, temperatures dropped from 5 – 1oC and with me not bringing my winter clothes, I was wearing everything I brought. Just like my quote here, I don’t wanna go everywhere in every part of the world, just a few places.


One response to “Ayaz Kala Fort, Khorezm Desert, Uzbekistan


    Uzbekistan has been in news regarding jailing of Religious missionaries, Aids activist, jurnalist and crackdown on Gulnara Karimova’s Zero Max but thousands of stories regarding jailing of thousands of innocent individuals are never heard off and go un reported. those thousands of individuals take accept the jailing as their fate and start their life again to be jailed again.

    Tashkent Rehabilitation Center Located at Chashma 3 Street, Hamzinski District of Tashkent, 15 Sutichnie Located at Chashma Street, Tuzel Detention Center for Tashkent Province, and IVS (Temporary Detention Center) Located in GVD at Chekhova Street Tashkent are the places where hundreds of people are detained and then 95% freed after 7 days, 15 days, and one month Respectively.
    Majority of the detainees arejailed for one month only because if they forget to take their passport with them or if they have lost their passport.
    System operates as under: Every police post head is responsible to complete a plan of jailing the people. They bring those people to Tashkent Rehabilitation center and get some benefits.

    In Tashkent Rehabilitation center people forgetting their passport or not having their passports are detained for one month in the most horrible conditions.
    They are locked in 3X4 Meters Cells with 10 or some times 16 Inmates.
    They are fed only once in 24 Hours and allowed to Use Toilette 3 Times a day. Tashkent Rehabilitation Center and other Facilities can be rated as the ideal facilities for the growth of Infectous Diseases. If an individual can pay from 50,000 (25 USD) to 100,000 (50 USD) they are freed otherwise they have to sit in the facility for 30 days.
    The detainees are sold to Private contractors for labor and work in the construction and the repair of the houses, farm Houses of the officials of MVD (Ministry of Interior) or GVD (City Internal Affairs Department).

    Ministry of Interior Forces are so corrupt and inefficiet which will be evident from some of the cases which I will quote below:

    In january 2010 one Private Owner of a Furniture firm Max Mebel was killed, investigating officer next day locked 70 Employees of the company from 7 days to 15 days in GVD, and 15 Sutichne Facilities. They were all freed after the expiry of their detention period. No body was allowed in advocate and was allowed to contact the relatives. Dimitry Lubashov (an Uzbek Jew and very nice boy who had problems with hearing) was sitting with me in GVD facility.
    They would be right in asking the question why they were detained and what would happen to their families, who would feed them, and other so many questions. But the system goes on with out any thinking. Millions of Dollars of money is being spent by the Government to Maintain the facility. Money provided by the Government ends up in the pockets of the Officials operating the facility.

    President Islam Karimov is an hostage in the hands of Ministry of Interior and Security Agencies forces. Because they are doing all that in the name of peace and security. As the president Islam Karimov is most concerned about security Issues so the cases of Illegal Detention and corruption in Security Agencies are always ignored.
    Th innocent Peoples detained by the Security Agencies blame only President Isla Karimov for their situation.
    Security Agencies by their acts are slowly and in a very planned way are eroding the effects of all the positive steps of the Government.

    I am a Pakistani Businessman living in Uzbekistan since last 17 years and was detained from 10th December 2009 till 12th April 2010 (124 Days). Inspite of being a Foreign Citizen my arrest was with out any Warrants (Actually Legally 124 Days of Kidnapping), Not allowed any Advocate, Nor allowed access to Pakistani Embassy in Tashkent.
    I was detained and released and till now do not know why 124 days of my life were stollen from Me. My business got ruined, reputation destroyed, and deported on 12th April 2010. Now I have a house and Other Business Interests in Tashkent and even can not go.

    Glossary of day to day events is listed below:

    My story of Detention by Uzbek Security Agencies
    Name: Muhammad Haroon Choudhry
    Citizen of Pakistan
    Passport # AV 4197711
    Date Of Birth: 05-05-1956

    Day to day Glossary of my Detention:

    At approximately 22.00 Hours two Officers of Uzbek Security organs knocked at my door and asked me to show them my passport. One officer was Mr Farkhad from City Ovir office and the other from SNB. They took my passport, plus two documents e.g. One application for the extension of Visa and the other guarantee letter for registration. They asked me to Visit Ulugbek OVIR at 09.30 but I informed them it may not be possible and I can visit OVIR after lunch.

    At 15.00 Hours there was a call from OVIR asking me the reason for not visiting OVIR office and I offered them that I can come at 18.00 Hours. They told me not to come.
    At 22.00 Hours when I reached my House located at 3a Sairam St. Ulugbek District 3 Security officers were waiting. Farkhad from City OVIR, Bukhtiar from Ulugbek OVIR, and SNB person in two cars. Farkhad asked me that he wants to return me the Passport so I should accompany him to RVD Ulugbek District for collecting my passport.
    When I reached RVD Farkhad wrote an application on white paper and asked me to sign for collecting my passport. Then he asked me to deposit all my belongings to a police man e.g. Laptop, Cellular Phone, 449400 Sums, 20 USD, Belt, Pen, Eyesight Glasses, and belt and locked me in a cell and left. I asked him the reason but he told me that he does not know and he has been advised and doing only what he has been advised.

    May be 09.00 or 10.00 in the morning Farkhad came again along with Bukhtiar and took me to Rehabilitation Centre (Pannelne) Located at Chashma 3, Hamzinski District.
    He asked me to sign one paper written in Uzbek language and told me that security organ wants to investigate me.
    I was locked in Cell Number 4 along with 7 or 8 persons. One was Zahidov Musharaf, another Utkur from Bukhara.

    11-12-2009 to 16-12-2009:
    I was requesting for advocate, access to my embassy, and the reasons for my detention.
    No body was responding to my requests and only telling me that they are not allowed to fulfill my requests.

    Mukhtar Aka working as duty officer on that day asked me to accompany him to the Head of Rehabilitation Centre Mr Rustumov Hafiz. Another Security Person Mr Shafqat informed me that one advocate is sitting and requesting access to me.
    I was called by Hafiz and Mr Aliev Yaqoob (Deputy Head) was also present and Hafiz asked me where I was living previously and when informed in Younasabad District he told me that he was the head of OVIR 1n 1994-95 and 1998-99 and he knows me.
    I again requested Mr Hafiz access to telephone to call my Embassy and appoint advocate. I also requested him to inform me the reasons for my detention but he told me that he is a small person and he is not allowed. By that Time I had developed serious infection in Lungs, was not eating because of Horrible food served once daily and requested him to allow food products from home or allow me to use my money to buy food products. He informed me that he will ask the people controlling my detention and only then will allow.
    I also told him that he is acting against the constitution of Uzbekistan and I have every right to sue him for not allowing my to use my legal right.
    He said he is a very small person and doing what he is being advised.

    I was shifted to cell number one.
    I was allowed to purchase food products but the exact date I do not remember. Food Products were being purchased at exorbitant prices and naturally every body involved was benefiting and getting some part of my money.
    I was daily asking the duty officer and Mr Aliev Yaqoob the reasons for my arrest, access to my Embassy, access to advocate, and to Miss Karina Trubnikova (Director of my Company Freedom Holidays), but constantly refused.

    I wrote a message for H.E. Usmanov Ibek Orifvich the Ambassador of Uzbekistan in Pakistan, requesting him of my illegal detention and help and gave to one detainee who was being released.

    I was taken to Mr Yaqoob Office and where another person which I am confident was from SNB was sitting. Aliev Yaqoob asked about my health, and why I am not taking food. I requested for medicine and professional medical help. While I was there Hafiz also came for 5 minutes. SNB person was just watching me and listening. I feel he came to see my physical health condition.
    Another Russian looking Person left with him when the SNB person went down.

    I wrote a letter to Mr Hafiz informing him of serious health problem, and warning him to not to act against the constitution of Uzbekistan by not allowing me access to advocate, My Embassy, and by not informing of the reasons of my detention.

    I was shifted to Cell number 6 at 22.00 Hours in the night.

    During the early morning attendance I asked the duty officer of my detention and he told me that my detention orders were issued by Prosecutor on 04-12-2009 for 30 days.
    Before that date there was never any mention of my detention order.

    Nobody had the courtesy of even visiting the cell and wish happy new year. All the officers were drunk in the night celebrating new year and hundreds of detainees sitting and thinking of their families and cursing the Government for all their misfortunes.

    Very quite day because every officer had a hang over.

    In the Morning Security guards came to every cell and starting collecting the cotton mattresses. They told the detainees that Winters are over and thus the detainees should sleep on the floor with out mattress.
    I was informed by Mr Aliev Yaqoob that my detention period will expire on 04-01-2010 and if it will not be extended then I will be released.

    When insisted for release Mr Aliev Yaqoob refused to acknowledge his previous statement and told me that my detention period will expire on 11th January.

    05-01-2010 to 10-01-2010
    I donot remember the exact date when I was called in Mr Aliev Yaqoob Office in the presence of Mr Botirov Odil and asked who will buy the ticket if I will be deported. I was also asked about my financial situation and could sense that they were giving me hints for possibilities of release against bribe and waiting for my request and offer. At that time I had already decided that I will pursue the matter till the logical end and was ready to suffer the consequences.

    In the Morning Mr. Botirov Odil the Senior OPER saw me near Duty Officer cabin and greeted me and told me in low voice that Tomorrow there will be a good news for me.
    In the evening Mr Aliev Yaqoob came to my cell number 6 and told me in front of all the detainees in a loud voice that I will be released on 12th January.

    I kept on insisting the whole day for my release as promised and at 20.00 Hours I was informed by security guard to take my belongings and accompany him to Duty officer’s cabin. A Nice Human Being and a Fine Son of Uzbek land Mr Alisher (Not Khaldar) was the Duty Officer (Dezhurnic) and another Person in uniform (Which I later knew was the Driver of the Prisoners transfer Van) asked me to accompany him. When I asked that I have to take my belongings deposited at the time of arrest the person in Uniform informed me that they will remain in Rehabilitation Centre.

    I was locked in a van and shifted to one basement detention place which I afterward got to Know was the GVD. I was asked to undress fully so that they may be able to inspect my belongings and body and then locked in cell number 4. There was Toilette inside the cell and 7 more persons were present. Cell had allot of blood sucker and whole night it was catching and killing game.

    At Approximately 08.30 in the morning I was asked to accompany a polite person speaking excellent English, to the 4th Floor.
    3 or 4 persons were present in the room and started asking me information about my family, life history, brothers, sisters, children, their ages, date of births, my education, employment and asked had I ever visited Wana City of Dera Ismail Khan District.
    One person arrived and asked me to look in to his eyes and asked me what is my opinion of Najib Ullah (the ex President of Afghanistan). He asked my why the Pakistani forces are killing Uzbeks? He told me that Uzbeks are not the Problem but Afghans are real Bastards. I told him that if Uzbeks are involved in Terrorists activities in Pakistan then our forces have every right to take action against them.
    One officer showed me a recording from his mobile. A lecture by some Russian Speaking person for the American plan of ensuring dominance of 1 billion People over the rest of the world. They asked me my opinion about the video recording and I told them I agree 90% and this lecture is based on a documentary showed on BBC Panorama Program in Year 2005 or 2006 and it is just one theory.
    Then the officers started asking me about Amitabh Bachan, Mithan Chakarvati, Indian Films, and which film I liked. I told them I was a fan of Rekha, and Amitabh, Plus Sharukh Devdas and Amitabh’s Akhri Rasta are my favorites. I could sense that they were deliberately asking me the questions to assess my leanings about life. Then they asked me about Uzbek food and I told them about the best places of having Kazan Kabob. They were very polite and addressing me respectfully. I asked Mr Yousaf who was recording my information on computer the reasons for my detention and he started smiling and told me that he does not know.
    At 12.30 they decided to have Kazan Kabob and I was again locked in Cell # 4.

    I asked the duty officer to get me Mr Yousaf at 4th Floor. He came back and informed me that Mr Yousaf will come at 20.00 Hours.
    At 20.30 Hours my name was called and asked to take my belongings and shifted again back to Rehabilitation centre by the same van and driver.
    When I reached cell number 6, I was informed by the detainees that they were told that I was freed and cell was white washed to hide any marks of my stay in that cell. I was constantly signing the cell walls with dates and signature but some informers sitting in the cell was informing the officers because of which they had white washed the cell.
    Mr Aliev Yaqoob called me at 23.00 hours and told me that with in a day or two I will be released after getting clearance from the OVIR.

    Mr Aliev Yaqoob called me and Khaldar Alisher was also present. They informed me that from onward Mr Khaldar will be my DAZNAVATEL. Mr Khaldar informed me that my detention orders have been extended till 15th February. I asked him about the clause of the law? He told me under the same clause when I was arrested. I told him that nobody has informed me about the reasons and he also refused.
    I told him that he should be aware that he is acting against the constitution of Uzbekistan by not informing me, not allowing me access to advocate, and my embassy. He kept quite.

    Mr Aliev Yaqoob came to the cell and informed me on the presence of other detainees that my investigation has been completed and every thing will be OK.
    From 11-02-2010 till 13-03-2010 Mr Aliev Yaqoob was on leave.

    I kept on insisting for my release and at 15.00 Hours informed by Dezhurnic (mr Rustam) that my detention has been extended by one month. I declared Hunger Strike and for 5 Days did not eat any thing unless I am allowed to appoint my advocate, get access to my Embassy, and meet Karina Trubnikova (Director of Freedom Holidays)

    As I was not allowed to use my Eye sight glasses and was facing problems so again I asked Mr Khaldar to give me my Eye Glasses. He told me that soon I will be released and then I can get my plastic glasses. I asked him when that SOON will be? He told be very soon.
    From 27-02-2010 till 15-03-2010 Mr Khaldar was on leave.

    27-02-2010 till 16-03-2010:
    Mr Botirov Odil was Incharge in the absence of Mr Aliev and Mr Khaldar. He refused me to allow food products inspite of daily requests and even pleadings. He told me that either I will eat the food served for other prisoners or he does not care if I will die And I will be responsible for my own death. I told him that according to the manual of Rehabilitation centre I have every legal right to buy or get food products but he told me that he does not care and there is no such manual.

    I was shifted to cell number 7 and had to sleep on floor. As I had previously serious kidney problems and two times operated by Urology Centre in Nove Tash Me so because of cold I got Serious pain in my Kidney, and had my Prostate Swelling. On 7th Morning I pleaded with the Duty Officer of my serious health Condition and requested him professional medical care. For two days I could not urine because of prostate swelling.
    I was given two Ampiciline (Anti Biotic) tablets by the doctor in the Centre. I informed the doctor that I should take full course of Medicine other wise they will aggravate my situation. She told me that she is not allowed to issued more than two tablets.
    After that she gave another two tablets on 12th January. I tried to cure my self with the help of Honey, which was given to me by another detainee. Mr Alisher (Dezhrnic, a fine human being and a worthy son of great land) was kind enough to provide me mattress at 23.00 on 7th March. Because of malnutrition and health problem and deliberate victimization by Botirov Odil the period was really horrible and I had serious apprehensions about permanent damage to my health and even life. Thanks to the other fine human beings detained in the center they were providing me some food products by even getting hungry themselves. Mr Zahidov Musharaf (A Tajik National) who is in the centre since last 16 months was my main savior.

    I was informed by Mr Khaldar that my Detention has been extended. I told him that according to Uzbek law I can not be detained for more than 90 days and they are all working against the constitution and laws of Uzbekistan. He told me there is no such law and I can be detained for as many months as Mr Zahidov Musharaf (A Tajik). I told him that I will bring him in to the court and then ask this specific question and would his reply be the same? He told me yes.

    I was again refused to allow to buy food products and till 12th April had to pass through hungry days and nights. Mr Khaldar was all the time promising and then acting very rudely and once sent me to ???????????. I told him that I will bring him in to the court.

    At 19.00 Hours I was asked to take my belongings and shifted to the airport by Mr Farkhod. I asked him under what law I am being deported? He told me that I am not being deported and can come back again. He left me at the Immigration booth and left.
    I arrived in Pakistan on 13th April at 01.00 hours.

    Illegal Acts during the 124 days of detention:

    According to the Uzbekistan Constitution the following illegal acts were performed:

    • Security officer Mr Farkhod and SNB person had no legal authority to take my passport on 9th December. It was illegal.
    • On 10th when I was detained I was not shown any arrest warrant, reason for my arrest and in fact cheated and asked to sign a hand written application which I afterward found was not for getting my passport back , as I was told. It was illegal according to Uzbek Law.
    • Rehabilitation centre Tashkent officers did not allow access to advocate inspite of many requests. It was illegal.
    • Rehabilitation officers did not allow me access to Pakistan and nor informed Pakistan Embassy inspite of daily written and verbal requests. It was illegal.
    • Rehabilitation Centre Officers did not allow me initially to buy food products inspite of the fact that they were aware that I am not taking food from the detention centre and thus knowingly caused serious damage to my health. According to the manual of Rehabilitation centre the detainees are allowed to purchase food products from their own money. Officers acted illegally.
    • According to Uzbek Law no detainee can be detained for more than 90 days but in my case I was arrested on 10th December and released on 12th April (124 Days). By detaining me for 124 Days Uzbek Security Officials have acted against the Uzbek law.
    • I was never produced in front of any Prosecutor and thus detention warrants (if any) issued were illegal and prosecutor acted illegally by dispensing one sided justice.
    • Because of Serious Chest Infection, Prostate Swelling, and Kidney Problems I was frequently requesting and pleading to the Doctor in the Centre not to dispense Anti Biotic in lapses but provide me full treatment. The Doctor acted against the medical advise and thus caused problems to my health.
    • I was deported from Uzbekistan and not even allowed to take bath or even shave. My deportation orders were illegal. At the time of my arrest I had Valid Visa and Registration documents.
    • Mr Alisher Khaldar used abusive language inspite of my pleading that he should be polite and respectful as I am with him. He acted against the law because I was not a criminal but a foreign Businessman who had always been very respectful and polite.
    • Uzbek Security Agencies were providing wrong and false information to the Embassy and other persons trying to help me. It was illegal.
    • Discrimination: I was the only Foreigner in Rehabilitation centre who was kept locked with the local citizens, through out my detention. All the Foreigners were locked in one cell together. It was evident that Rehabilitation centre Senior Officials wanted to mentally torture me by locking with the homeless people having leeches and even not understanding Russian, and English. Any type of discrimination is illegal and against the constitution of Uzbekistan.
    • When I was released I was not returned the balance amount of my money deposited at the time of my arrest. Rehabilitation Centre Officials act was illegal and criminal.
    • During 124 days of my Detention I was not even told by any body why I was being detained and why I was being released and deported. I still have the same question and till now do not know why 124 Days of my life were stolen from me and I was dehumanized, mentally tortured, abused, caused serious damage to my personal reputation, my family had to pass through most distressing times, and financially made bankrupt. At least security officials must answer the questions.

    Who I am and what contributions I have made to Uzbek Society:

    I am 53 years Old, having 2 sons, one Daughter, M.Phil. In Economics (International Political Economics Specialization), worked in Phillip Morris International at a Senior Position for 13 Years (World Biggest Tobacco Manufacturer) Very well acknowledged and known Marketing Professional.

    • I was the First Person to Start regular Charter Flights between Pakistan and Uzbekistan in 1993 and thus helping the Uzbek Economy to cope with the periods of shortages and provide low priced products.
    • I was the Person to Convince (Mr Ajmal Cheema Chief Executive of Leather Field Pakistan and World biggest Leather Manufacturer) and establish a joint Venture in Uzbekistan.
    • I was the First Person who Convinced the Lakhani Group (Pakistan Biggest Industrial Group) and acted on their behalf to buy and operate Tashkent Tobacco factory. Unfortunately when we signed the MOU, BAT jumped in and immediately established UZBAT. (Security Officials can check the copy of MOU from UZBAT Archive.
    • I was the unique person who convinced Nestle to Establish their Business in Uzbekistan. I Extended the Visa support, Logistics support, Meetings with the local parties, bore their hotel, transport bills and successfully helped them to conclude the deal with Rose Trading. Security Officials can check the records from their Archive (First Babur International was the Company which sent Visa invitation and Hotel Booking in Uzbekistan Hotel in 1995 (Mr Graham Campbell Chief Executive of Nestle, Australian National) and (Mr Sunil Belasuria the GM of Nestle, Siri Lankan National) Visited Uzbekistan in 1995 to explore the market and signed the contract with Rose Trading.
    • I was one of the very few persons in Tourism Industry who were convinced about the need for Putting Uzbekistan Tourism Resources on Internet. http://www.harleytourism.com had the First rating on google, yahoo, MSN, Mail. Ru, Yandex, Rambler from 1999 till 2005.
    • I attended and represented Uzbekistan in many trade Tourism, and other Industry International fairs and always convinced thousands of Foreign Businessmen about the great potential of the country, rich heritage, most stable government, peaceful environments, and serious business investment opportunities in Uzbekistan.
    • I facilitated the Delegation of Leather Industry of Uzbekistan in Pakistan, arrange their meetings and presentations in Trade Chambers, major Leather Manufacturers because of which two Pakistani groups have already signed and one group is already manufacturing leather in Namagan.
    • I was the Person who convinced many Pakistani big groups to import Chemicals from Uzbekistan, Facilitated their contacts with the manufacturers, represented them in signing contracts, and helped them in arranging logistics by traveling through Afghanistan (Even Risking my Life). Glycerin, Methanol, Sodium Chlorate, Sulphur, Acetic Acid, acrylic, were exported to Pakistan from Uzbekistan
    • I was the person who convinced Many Indian, Pakistani, German Out Bound Tour Operators and helped them to develop tour programs according to the requirements of the Customers by facilitating, training, and developing the infrastructure in Uzbekistan.
    Just visit http://www.opfblog.com and you will know how I have promoted positive aspect of Uzbek Culture to Overseas Pakistanis. Till 9th December I have spent every day atleast 8 hours to write the positive aspects of Uzbek Society and Uzbek Nation.
    • Members of Singapore Trade Delegation which visited Uzbekistan in July 2009 would tell you what type of Ambassador I have been for Uzbekistan. Just Ask the members of Society of Asian Civilization Pakistan and they will tell you how I have convinced them about the positive aspects of Uzbekistan. And just ask H.E. Usmanov Ibek Orifovich (The Ambassador of Uzbekistan in Pakistan) how he was brought to TV by Zubair Ahmed, and what type of impression I have left on the elite society of Pakistan for Uzbekistan.
    • Yes I was never Corrupt and never thought about making money.
    • Yes I never made any bodies pockets full by offering bribes and cuts
    • Yes I had my Principles and trusted the truth and honesty would always win and was ready to suffer for it.
    • Yes I have made many enemies in Tourist Companies and people of security agencies who were dying to deport me so that the scene is left open for them.

    Just Think what other visitors, foreign investors, businessmen would think of Uzbekistan after listening to my story?

    Is Uzbekistan a country where a foreign citizen can be locked like LIVE MEAT for 124 days and then deported with out even knowing why he was locked and why he has been deported?

    All the above information can be confirmed from Pakistan Embassy in Tashkent tel: +998-71-2482173

    Or My telephone number: +92-322-9762505

    Or Website: http://www.harleytourism.com/harleytourism.com.html

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