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It's still not known how many died in the Andijon crackdown in May 2005 (RFE/RL)
February 21, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The European Union's special representative for Central Asia told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service today that the EU is closely following the case of independent journalist and rights activist Umida Niyazova.
Pierre Morel said the EU is working through the German Embassy in Tashkent to help Niyazova.
"A collective action of the European Union is under way through the German presidency [of the EU] and the German Embassy in Tashkent is following [the case] very closely and very regularly with Uzbek authorities," morel said. "We are working on it and following it very closely."
Niyazova was detained last month and charged with illegally crossing state borders and collecting and distributing material threatening the public security.
Uzbek and international rights groups have complained that the charges are politically motivated because Niyazova was interviewing witnesses of the Andijon violence in May 2005 who fled to Kyrgyzstan.
The Uzbek government received heavy international criticism for using excessive force to restore order in Andijon.