An American reporter is escorted out of the room where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, after she asks a question about the U.S. State Department's critique of the Uzbek human rights record. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: An American reporter was escorted out of the room where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov in the "Silk Road" city of Samarkand on Sunday (November 1). The reporter was seeking a response to the U.S. State Department's critique of the Uzbek human rights record. Karimov ignored the query and Kerry began responding, but the reporter was pushed out of the room before she finished what she was saying. International human rights bodies list Karimov's government as among the world's most repressive. But such issues are not likely to dominate Kerry's agenda. He is on a tour of central Asia and is seeking to persuade governments that Washington's interest in the region, which lies to the north of Afghanistan, is not waning. That message has taken on greater importance as Washington draws down its forces in Afghanistan, concerns mount about the threat to the region from Islamic State, and Russia, fresh from forays into Ukraine and Syria, reasserts its influence. It was Kerry's first meeting as secretary of state with Karimov, who has ruled mostly Muslim Uzbekistan for a quarter of a century since shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union.