(Washington, DC) – The United States, European Union, and other international actors should renew their calls for accountability by the Uzbek government 11 years after the Andijan massacre, Human Rights Watch said today. Uzbek government forces killed hundreds of mainly peaceful protesters in the eastern city of Andijan on May 13, 2005.
International entities and governments should also raise their concern about Uzbekistan’s abysmal rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council. They should challenge the Uzbek government’s persistent refusal to cooperate with UN monitoring bodies by creating a dedicated position for an expert to ensure sustained scrutiny and reporting on the human rights situation in the country.
“Eleven years on, the killings in Andijan and the government’s ruthless campaign against all forms of dissent in its aftermath define Uzbekistan’s atrocious human rights situation,” said Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Washington, EU member states, and other capitals have yet to hold the Uzbek government accountable for the massacre, allowing the downward spiral in Tashkent’s rights record to become the norm.”
- Free all imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, and political and religious prisoners;
- Allow unimpeded operation of nongovernmental organizations in the country;
- Cooperate fully with all relevant UN monitors for various human rights issues;
- Guarantee freedom of speech and of the media;
- Carry out the conventions against forced and child labor, including fully cooperating with the International Labour Organization (ILO); and
- Fully align its election processes with Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) standards.
“Uzbekistan is skilled at exploiting the desire of its negotiating partners to see progress, while giving no ground,” Swerdlow said. “The governments that cooperate with Uzbekistan should change this dynamic and respond in a substantial way to Tashkent’s abuses.”