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Andijon Defendants Deny Torture Claims

The Tashkent courtroom where the Andijon trial is being held (file photo) 22 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Defendants accused of launching an antigovernment uprising in Uzbekistan reiterated their guilt today and denied allegations by human rights groups that their confessions were coerced through torture.

It's the third day of the trial of 15 men -- including three Kyrgyz citizens -- who Uzbek authorities blame for the revolt in Uzbekistan's eastern city of Andijon in May.

The defendants today also repeated prosecutors' allegations that Western journalists and rights activists helped encourage the rebellion.

Uzbek and Western rights groups say Uzbek police use torture to coerce people to confess alleged crimes.

The uprising in Andijon was followed swiftly by a severe military crackdown in which the government say 187 people -- mostly Islamic extremists -- were killed.

Rights advocates dispute the official version, saying many more people were killed and that civilians were among the dead.

Over 100 people are currently in detention awaiting trial for their alleged involvement in the Andijon violence.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of the Andijon trials, see "Aftermath Of Andijon"

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