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Uzbekistan: Rights Group Says Man Tortured To Death

Tashkent, 20 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- An international human rights group has issued new allegations of torture in Uzbekistan, saying a man who died in the custody of the Uzbek security services appears to have been tortured. Matilda Bogner of U.S.-based Human Rights Watch told a news conference in Tashkent that the case of Arif Eshonov was the first case this year that her group has confirmed of a torture-related death during custody in Uzbekistan.

Bogner said Eshonov's body had been returned to his family covered with unexplained bruises and wounds.

Uzbek authorities have denied allegations that torture is systematic in the country, but have admitted to isolated cases of human-rights abuses.