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Kyrgyz Activists Say Uzbek Asylum Seekers Missing


http://gdb.rferl.org/ba88733c-f06f-4a23-8f26-8240e6b5daf6_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/ba88733c-f06f-4a23-8f26-8240e6b5daf6_mw800_mh600.jpg (RFE/RL) August 18, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz rights campaigners say they are concerned about the fate of two Uzbek asylum seekers.


The activists say the two men went missing earlier this week after being visited by people who introduced themselves as police officers.


The Adalet (Justice) advocacy group says Valijon Bobojonov and Saidullo Shokirov have not reappeared since they were taken away from their homes in the southern city of Osh on August 16 and August 17, respectively.


Adalet Chairwoman Cholpon Jakupova told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service the two men sought refuge in Kyrgyzstan after the May 2005 unrest in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon and were subsequently granted asylum seekers status.


"[Our] people today went to Osh, made statements, and inquired with the prosecutor's office and the law enforcement agencies," Jakupova said. "They all deny being involved. The law enforcement agencies have pledged to open an investigation for disappearance."


Tursunbek Akunov, who chairs Kyrgyzstan's presidential human rights commission, today urged authorities to find the two missing Uzbeks "quickly."


Kyrgyzstan on August 9 deported to Tashkent five Uzbek nationals -- including four UN refugees and one asylum seeker -- who were wanted in their home country for their alleged participation in the May 2005 Andijon uprising.


The move has drawn harsh criticism from the international community.


(with material from ferghana.ru)

Andijon Refugees

Uzbek refugees in Kyrgyzstan on May 19, 2005 (epa)

NO PLACE TO GO: More than 400 Uzbeks who fled in panic in the hours and days after troops opened fire on demonstrators in Andijon one year ago have been granted political asylum outside Central Asia. In limbo for weeks in Kyrgyzstan as they and the world tried to come to grips with the bloody events of May 12 and 13, they feared for their lives and the lives of family members as the official crackdown continued.... (more)


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THE COMPLETE STORY: A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.


CHRONOLOGY

For an annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions, click here.

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