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UN Presses Tashkent Over Returned Refugees

The aftermath of the Andijon violence (file photo) 12 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations refugee agency is pressing for access to four Uzbeks who are in custody after being deported home.

Jennifer Pagonis, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said today the agency is "extremely concerned" about the fate of the four.

Pagonis said Uzbek authorities earlier this week informed UNHCR that the four were "self-confessed criminals" who had returned voluntarily.

Kyrgyzstan deported the four Uzbeks in June despite their refugee status, breaking international law on refugees. They had fled a military crackdown in the city of Andijon in May.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of the Andijon events and their aftermath, see "Unrest In Uzbekistan"