Leader of the Birdamlik movement in exile, Bakhodir Choriyev, is returning to Uzbekistan


Few weeks ago we had a conversation about his future plans and Bakhodir-aka said that he really would like to go back to his historical motherland after almost 5 years of exile. Today he announced the date of his arrival to Uzbekistan in public — October 16, 2009. According to him one of his main goals is to coordinate Birdamlik‘s activities on the ground.

‘Unfortunately, up until now the movement has never been able to hold a group meeting in Uzbekistan. The movement had planned to have a meeting in December 2008, but because of the continuous pressure placed on our members, we had to cancel the meeting as it seemed too dangerous at the time. This pressure on our members has not since let up. I find it essential, therefore, that I, in my capacity as Birdamlik movement leader, fight side-by-side with our members during these difficult times.’

Bakhodir Choriyev, ‘Announcement to my countrymen’

When I asked him how confidential he is about his security in Uzbekistan he said he never know what may happen but…

‘I was not forced to return to Uzbekistan and there are no other factors for this other than what I outlined above. I chose this path of my own free will. Today I return to the Homeland with various plans and intentions, and I don’t know how officials are going to react to my return. Maybe they will arrest me under various pretexts. Maybe when I touch the ground of my Homeland, when I breathe in its air, my rights will not be trampled, and no legal action will be taken against the continuation of my political activity.’

Bakhodir Choriyev, ‘Announcement to my countrymen’

I wish Bakhodir-aka all the best he can get from his trip. As I know (or at least how he informed me) he already got his ticket to the U.S. in early 2010. I hope he will get safe to his family members in the States who will be waiting for their loving father and husband.

‘On October 16, as I hold my ticket to Tashkent in my hand, I know that I go not only out of yearning for Uzbekistan, but out of obligation to my comrades in my capacity as leader.’

Bakhodir Choriyev, ‘Announcement to my countrymen’

For more information about Bakhodir Choriyev (aka Khasan) check out his interview to the author here.

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