Take Action Now  

The Uzbek governmentís persistent refusal to agree to an international inquiry into the Andijan massacre, and the fierce crackdown that followed, warrant a forceful response.

Take action in the U.S.

Human Rights Watch asks you to:

Call and send letters, faxes, and e-mails to your elected officials in the U.S. Congress. Let them know that you support legislation that uses targeted sanctions to hold officials in Uzbekistan accountable for the Andijan massacre of May 2005 and other continuing human rights violations.

Two examples of legislation that contain targeted sanctions include:

  • Andijan Accountability Act of 2006
    Introduced by Senator John McCain (AZ) on May 9, 2006, the Andijan Accountability Act of 2006 would allow for the imposition of sanctions on certain officials of Uzbekistan responsible for the Andijan massacre. Individuals identified as having a direct and substantial role in repressing peaceful political dissent will be denied visas to enter the United States and be unable to engage in any financial transactions with American individuals or companies. Human Rights Watch supports targeted sanctions against individuals implicated in the Andijan massacre. This legislation also gives the president the power to terminate the sanctions if Uzbekistan begins an international inquiry to the events in Andijan during May 2005.

  • Central Asia Democracy and Human Rights Promotion Act of 2006
    Introduced by Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ)  on May 11, 2006, this legislation (H.R. 5382) would authorize the president to provide assistance for programs supporting democracy and limit assistance to Central Asian governments that do not meet human rights standards.  It would also impose targeted sanctions against Uzbek officials implicated in the Andijan massacre or involved in other human rights abuses, freezing these individuals' financial assets and denying them visas to enter the United States.  Human Rights Watch supports targeted sanctions against individuals implicated in the Andijan massacre.

Take action Internationally

Human Rights Watch urges the international community to:

  • Reinvigorate pressure on the Uzbek government by deploring the continued lack of accountability for the Andijan massacre and renewing its calls for an international inquiry; support the OSCEís recommendation to set aside the trial verdicts and to conduct a re-trial following an independent investigation into the Andijan events;

  • Call for an end to the crackdown on human rights defenders, independent journalists, and members of the political opposition; urge the release of human rights defenders Saidjahon Zainabitdinov and Mutabar Tojibaeva, and all others detained on politically-motivated charges;

  • Ensure protection for Uzbeks who fled the country by calling on the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine, and any other country hosting Uzbek nationals not to forcibly return anyone to Uzbekistan who would likely be persecuted or be at risk of torture upon return; seek urgent resettlement for these individuals in safe third countries; request the Uzbek government for information about the fate of those forcibly returned, and that it allow immediate access to them for international monitors;

  • Impose targeted sanctions against the Uzbek government, including a visa ban on President Islam Karimov and other senior Uzbek officials who bear responsibility for the Andijan massacre and its aftermath. These include (but are not limited to): Minister of Interior Bahodir Matliubov, Minister of Defense Ruslan Mirzaev, Minister of Justice Buritosh Mustafaev, General Prosecutor Rashid Kodirov, Head of the National Security Service (SNB) Rustam Inoiatov, and Andijan Regional Governor Saidullo Begaliev. The list of those subject to the visa ban should also include key individuals in the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Justice, the General Prosecutorís Office, and National Security Service who led and coordinated the Andijan investigations, prosecutions, and trials and otherwise participated in the cover-up of the truth behind the massacre. Freeze the assets of all those subject to the visa ban, making it impossible for them to access or in any way use the banking system abroad.