New EU pressure on Uzbekistan urged over civilian killings

Hundreds of people, including women and children, were killed on 13 May 2005 when government security forces fired on mainly peaceful demonstrators in the centre of Andizhan.

New EU pressure on Uzbekistan urged over civilian killings

Human rights group Amnesty International has urged the West to strongly condemn and to put new pressure on Uzbekistan on the fifth anniversary that hundreds died when the government crushed a protest in the town of Andizhan.

Hundreds of people, including women and children, were killed on 13 May 2005 when government security forces fired on mainly peaceful demonstrators in the centre of Andizhan.

London-based Amnesty said in a statement, "The European Union's inconsistencies on Andizhan are harming the credibility of a foreign policy that should put human rights at the centre of any decision."

Andrea Huber, Europe Deputy Director at Amnesty International, said, "There needs to be a clear and consistent approach which put international pressure on Uzbekistan to allow an international independent investigation of the (Andizhan) killings."

Amnesty said Uzbekistan has recently cited the lifting of the EU arms embargo as evidence that the matter of the investigation now is closed.

It said the human rights situation has continued to deteriorate since the events in May 2005.

"Reports of torture or other ill-treatment in custody continue unabated," it said.

The West responded by severing nearly all ties with the Central Asian nation. But, the European Union dropped most of its sanctions against the republic and in return, Uzbekistan allowed the transit of military supplies for U.S. troops occupying Afghanistan.

The government of secular-minded Islam Karimov, president for 21 years, has since cracked down on human rights activists and evicted most media from Uzbekistan.

Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Mayıs 2010, 11:45
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