Nathan at Registan, as usual, has some useful links. In particular he points to this interview on Radio Free Europe with Rakhimov’s sister, and this article in the Washington post about the background to the Andijan prison break-out.
Nathan also has an article in open democracy which gives lots of info, and some sound opinions.
Meanwhile, western governments are left with few options in the wake of the violence. In contrast to much conventional opinion, relations between Uzbekistan and the west are lukewarm at best. The United States is indisputably Uzbekistan?s most important western partner, but it has yet to form a cohesive and consistent approach to the country across all its agencies (which the US Committee for International Religious Freedom recommends in a May 2005 report).
The Andijan massacre should be a wake-up call to the United States and other western governments. However, disengagement would be a poor choice. This may be morally satisfying to those outraged by Uzbek government repression, but it would sever the fragile bonds to civil society groups, students, and Uzbek citizens who benefit from western assistance and contacts.
Instead, the west must make crystal clear to the government in Tashkent that there are diplomatic consequences for a regime that massacres its civilians, while offering strong incentives for reform. This combination of criticism and engagement is the only way that the west can make a positive impact in Uzbekistan. There are no short cuts.
I broadly agree with this – I should do, it sums up my initial gut-reaction on reading John Quiggin’s Crooked Timber post.