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Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan Criticized Over Displaced People

18 October 2005 -- The Geneva-based Global IDP Project says the internally displaced people of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan continue to be denied basic rights and assistance after having been forcibly relocated by their governments.

The Global IDP Project, established by the Norwegian Refugee Council, is an international organization monitoring internal displacement worldwide.

In two reports released today, the project said the governments of both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have used forced displacement as a means of controlling their citizens and maintaining a grip on society.

The reports said Tashkent forcibly displaced thousands of villagers in 2000-01 from the Uzbek-Tajik border as part of a crackdown on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

In Turkmenistan, Global IDP says forced displacement is used by the government to repress and control political dissidents and ethnic minorities such as Uzbeks living in border areas.