A session of the UN Human Rights Council (file photo) (epa)
November 21, 2006 -- A key UN General Assembly panel has voted to end debate on a draft resolution that would have rebuked Uzbekistan for arbitrary arrests, stifling dissent, and locking up activists in psychiatric wards, among other abuses.
China argued the draft was confrontational and that Uzbekistan had made progress since a similar resolution was passed by the General Assembly last year in reaction to the Uzbek crackdown in Andijon in May 2005.
Witnesses says hundreds were killed when troops opened fire in Andijon. The Uzbek government blamed the unrest on Islamic extremists and said most of the dead were armed insurgents.
This year's draft resolution by the UN's Human Rights Council criticized Uzbekistan for not allowing an independent inquiry on Andijon and detaining representatives of local organizations who wanted to watch secret trials of some 266 defendants.
The resolution was based on a report by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan earlier this month, saying there had been no rights progress over the past year, including "ample evidence" of torture by security authorities.