COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Brussels, 18 November 2005
The European Union has been closely following the trial in Uzbekistan of 15 individuals in relation to the events in Andijan on 12-13 May 2005, which concluded on 14 November.
The European Union shares many of the serious concerns about the conduct of the trial expressed on 26 October by the UN Special Rapporteurs and the Independent Expert on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and those expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The European Union looks forward to the early publication of the report of the ODIHR team which followed the trial.
The European Union has serious concerns about the credibility of the case presented by the prosecution and believes that defence procedures were inadequate to ensure a fair trial. The European Union would welcome the opportunity to discuss these concerns with the Uzbek government.
The trial focussed on the attacks on the army barracks, prison and SNB building, as well as the occupation of the Hokimyat. While recognising the criminal nature of these attacks, the European Union is concerned that the trial paid little attention to the substantial number of reports, including from eyewitnesses, alleging that the Uzbek military and security forces committed grave human rights violations while curbing the demonstrations.
The European Union continues to place primary importance on a credible and transparent independent international inquiry into the events of 12-13 May. The European Union stands ready to discuss all of these matters in its ongoing dialogue with Uzbekistan.