Why will I vote against Mirziyoyev: a cyclist in Tashkent was beaten, most likely by the president’s bodyguard

Baryshev was injured when he was pulled off his bike. Photo was taken from Gazeta.uz
Cyclist Andrey Baryshev was injured when he was pulled off his bike. Photo was taken from Gazeta.uz

Shortly before the motorcade of the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev passed on Mustakillik Avenue on Friday evening, cyclist Andrey Baryshev was beaten by a man in civilian clothes, presumably a security guard of the head of the state. The incident was reported by Gazeta.uz with reference to the cyclist himself. “He yelled that I was nobody, pulled my beard, hit me on my cheeks, insulted … Why do they treat people like powerless cattle?” asks (probably rhetorically) Baryshev.

That happened at about 20:00 on June 16. According to Baryshev, he tried to cross the roadway at the Darkhan Café bus stop at the pedestrian crossing in order to go towards the Parkent market.

At first, he stood between the moving cars in the middle of the road. At that time, the police officer (traffic controller) was letting cars go out of turn of the traffic light.

“Because of the current, I could not cross the road for a long time. The traffic controller did not say a word to me at all, although he was the traffic inspector. When a gap appeared, I went. I was riding in traffic. Suddenly a guard ran out. I saw him and shouted: ‘I’ll turn right here [after the bridge],’” Andrey is quoted as saying. Then, without warning, a member of the National Guard grabbed his arm while moving.

“I pushed his hand away because I could fall. I braked sharply, I told him: “Why are you grabbing my hand?” He was confused. A man in civilian clothes ran up. Probably he was from the security service or the presidential guard,” continues Baryshev.

“He pulled me off the bike, took me to the sidewalk and there he began to slap me, pull my beard, yell at me that I was nobody, humiliate my honor and dignity, insult me. The people at the bus stop silently watched this without saying a word,” said the cyclist.

“Then he asked, ‘What do you want?’ I said I needed to go home. He left, and I caught my breath, took a few photos. Seeing this, the National Guardsman ran up to me and said: “Stay here, wait, we will talk differently with you.” I told him that I would talk to him in another place (in a safer place for myself), and rode along the sidewalk, and then took a detour, through the block, ”continued Andrey Baryshev.

Baryshev said that he was not going to remain silent and asked the public to support him.

“I’m shocked, to be honest, from what the security service allows itself. Why do they treat all people, except for the first person, as powerless cattle, who can simply be beaten? I do not want such cases to continue taking place, so I give this incident publicity and ask each of you for help in disseminating information, ”wrote Andrey Baryshev on social networks.

The stop at which the incident with the cyclist occurred and where people were silent. Photo was taken from Gazeta.uz
The stop at which the incident with the cyclist occurred and where people were silent. Photo was taken from Gazeta.uz

The publication notes that the employees of the National Guard before the passage of the motorcade usually drive cyclists off the roadway, even if they are traveling with vehicles, and pedestrians are asked to hide behind stops or trees.

Two years ago, one of the employees of the National Guard did not let the Gazeta.uz correspondent, who was riding a bicycle, onto the bridge in front of the Hamid Alimdzhan metro station (above Abdulla Kadyri Street), despite the fact that the vehicles continued to move.

A National Guard official said cyclists are pedestrians for the president’s security team because they can cross the street anywhere, even if there is a curb. Note that according to the Rules of the Road, a bicycle is a vehicle.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been in power for 20 years — from 2003 to 2016 as Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, and after the death of the then President Islam Karimov, another 7 years as the head of the state. Mirziyoyev failed everything that is possible — salaries, and especially pensions, are very low in Uzbekistan (I am 61 years old, but I refused a pension, since a monthly pension would only be enough for half the payment for groceries during a single visit to the supermarket and nothing more), prices for a lot of things, including food already, are at least twice as expensive as in Europe, healthcare has sunk below the plinth, education is also located there, one cannot count on justice in law enforcement agencies.

By means of a referendum held on April 30, Mirziyoyev is going to zero out and be in power for another 14 years (two terms in a row for 7 years). The election are scheduled for July 9, but opposition representatives do not participate in them, but there are three more pro-government candidates not known to the general public. There is no doubt that Mirziyoyev will remain in power until 2038, which means that cyclists and others will continue to be beaten. Moreover, the people still do not interfere in anything (no one stood up for the cyclist). And most importantly, people are still afraid to be interested in and engage in politics, which means that improvements are not expected in any area.

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