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This report was researched and written by Acacia Shields, senior researcher on Central Asia. Additional research was conducted by Matilda Bogner, Tashkent-based researcher. It was edited by Cynthia Brown, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, Rachel Denber, acting executive director of the Europe and Central Asia division, and Widney Brown, deputy program director of Human Rights Watch. Veronika Szente Goldston, advocacy director for the Europe and Central Asia division, also reviewed sections of the report. Valuable technical support and assistance was given by past and current associates from the Europe and Central Asia division in New York and Tashkent, including Christina ter Braak, Rebecca Stich, Elizabeth Eagen, Ole Solvang, Kristina Alessi, and Emily Letts.

We extend our thanks to a number of rights defenders in Uzbekistan who were intimately involved in this project. We at Human Rights Watch recognize their incredible courage and commitment to the pursuit of human rights in Uzbekistan. Above all, our unending gratitude goes to the victims and their families, who trusted us with their stories. It was impossible to include in this report the details of all of the instances of abuse and hundreds of testimonies collected, but it is our hope that the cases featured in the report help to speak for the thousands of people who have suffered under this campaign.

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March 2004