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Uzbek President Islam Karimov (file photo) (AFP)
May 9, 2006 -- Two leading U.S. lawmakers today said they will introduce legislation to impose sanctions against Uzbekistan because of that country's human rights record.
Senator John McCain (Arizona) and Representative Christopher Smith (New Jersey), both members of the Republican Party, announced separate plans to censure Uzbekistan. McCain's bill focuses exclusively on Uzbekistan, while Smith's bill seeks to promote human rights throughout Central Asia, but singles out Uzbekistan for sanctions.
Both proposals, if adopted, would ban Uzbek leaders from traveling to the United States, freeze their assets, and bar munitions exports.
Both lawmakers warned of a crackdown on dissent in Uzbekistan, and of the use of torture by authorities there.