UN Committee Pressures Uzbekistan Over Andijon

From Radio Free Europe

A committee of the United Nations General Assembly has urged Uzbek authorities to stop harassing witnesses to the government’s violent suppression of a demonstration in the town of Andijon.

The General Assembly’s Social and Humanitarian Committee adopted the resolution, put forward by the European Union, on 22 November by a vote of 73 to 38, with 58 abstentions.

Countries that voted against the resolution included Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

The resolution expressed deep regret over the Uzbek government’s rejection of repeated calls by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour for an independent inquiry into the Andijon bloodshed.

The measure expressed concern over reported arbitrary arrests and detentions by Uzbek authorities, including of eyewitnesses to the Andijon events.

Witnesses say about 500 people may have been killed on 13 May when Uzbek troops fired into a crowd in Andijon to quell a revolt. Uzbek authorities say 187 people were killed, mostly foreign-paid terrorists.