Human Rights Watch Faults UN for Little Action in Uzbekistan Massacre Case
The watchdog group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the UN Human Rights Council of missing a “crucial opportunity” to expose a “massacre” that took place in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan in May 2005, Radio Free Europe reports.
HRW says the council’s first discussion of rights issues in Uzbekistan since bloody crackdown was moved behind closed doors after the UN body met on October 2, instead of being subjected to a public review.
In a 14-page briefing paper released in Geneva and cited on the group’s website, HRW says that decision “sends the message that perpetrating a massacre and refusing to cooperate with the international community carry no real consequences.”
Uzbek officials say 187 people, including many security officers, were killed when government troops entered Andijan to quell what they call an Islamic-inspired armed uprising.
Rights groups say the number of victims is much higher and that most of them were unarmed civilians gathered for a peaceful demonstration.
Uzbekistan has refused to allow the international community to investigate the Andijan events. Tashkent’s foreign policy has veered toward Moscow and away from the West since the European Union and United States condemned authorities’ roles in the violence.
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