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Uzbekistan5 October 2006

UN Human Rights Council misses chance to condemn Tashkent’s abuses

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Reporters Without Borders today joined Human Rights Watch in expressing deep disappointment at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision this week to examine the human rights situation in Uzbekistan in private instead of in open session.

“We condemn the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to conduct a confidential investigation into the events in Andijan in May 2005, since when Uzbekistan has been in the grip of repression and the local correspondents of the BBC and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty have been forced to leave the country,” the press freedom organisation said.

Despite resorting to authoritarian measures, the government refuses to acknowledge that human rights are flouted in Uzbekistan. It sent a memo to the Human Rights Council in June of this year describing the international community’s concerns as baseless.

The crackdown on independent journalists went one step further with the recent arrests of Ulugbek Khaidarov and Jamshid Karimov. The police set up Khaidarov in order to arrest him on a trumped-up charge of corruption. Karimov was forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital without explanation and without his relatives being allowed to visit him. Both of them are being mistreated. Reporters Without Borders condemns these Soviet-style practices.

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