- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Given that it’s still reeling from the controversial, and eventually reversed, decision to suspend funding to Planned Parenthood — fundraising is reportedly down 30 percent for some of its events — you’d think breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure would want to steer clear of potential political controversy.
Evidently not. As Nathan Hamm notes at Registan, Komen is partnering with Fund Forum, a charity run by Gulnara Karimova, the socialite, part-time pop star daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, to sponsor a series of charity runs in Uzbekistan. In addition to her dad’s atrocious and well-publicized human rights record, Gulnara herself has been implicated in a range of illegal business practices, including essentially taking over rival companies at gunpoint. Then there are disturbing reports of widespread forced sterilizations of women in Uzbek hospitals and evidence that’s it’s being encouraged by the authorities.
Update: Apparently Gulnara’s other big charity campaign these days is a program dubbed “1,000 weddings, 1,000 circumcisions.” So there’s that.
Update 2: A Susan G. Komen representative has contacted us to clarify that the organization is partnering not with Fund Forum, but with the National Breast Cancer Association of Uzbekistan. The two organizations seem to share both web space and an address in Tashkent.
Fund Forum itself seems under the impression that it is sponsoring the event. It has declared itself a fundraising partner for the race and is featured its own name as a sponsor on posters along with Komen. A previous edition of the marathon was described GulnaraKarimova.com as "a brainchild of Gulnara Karimova."