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UN Refugee Agency Official Due In Bishkek

Uzbek refugees in Kyrgyzstan on 24 June 25 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- An official with the UN refugee agency is due in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek today to urge Kyrgyz officials not to send home Uzbeks refugees.

Kamel Morjane, assistant UN high commissioner for refugees, will arrive in Kyrgyzstan for three-days of talks with Kyrgyz officials.

Hundreds of Uzbeks fled to Kyrgyzstan after Uzbek troops fired on protesters in the nearby eastern town of Andijon on 14 May. The unrest left up to hundreds dead.

The UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), among others, have said the Uzbek asylum seekers could face torture or summary execution if forced to return home.

Earlier this week, Uzbek authorities requested Kyrgyzstan send back 133 Uzbeks suspected of being behind the unrest in Andijon.

On 24 June, Kyrgyz authorities postponed a decision to deport 29 Uzbek refugees.

(compiled from agency reports)