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Uzbek Court Convicts Andijon Defendants

Defendants awaiting the verdict in Tashkent today (RFE/RL) Tashkent, 14 November 2005 -- Uzbekistan's Supreme Court today convicted 15 defendants of participating in an uprising in the eastern city of Andijon, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reported.

All 15 men pleaded guilty to organizing an armed uprising and trying to overthrow the government in the uprising in May.

While reading the verdict, Chief Judge Bakhtiyor Jamolov described the men as religious extremists who wanted to establish an Islamic caliphate.

"As active members of Akramiya religious extremist organization, [they] aimed to overthrow the current constitutional order of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and create an Islamic state -- caliphate, and [therefore they] formed an armed criminal group that conducted many serious and very serious crimes," Jamolov said.

Sentencing is expected soon. Prosecutors have asked the court to give the defendants sentences ranging from 15 to 20 years in prison.

Human rights groups have dismissed the trial as a show, saying much of the testimony may have been coerced.

According to the Uzbek government, 187 people -- including soldiers, officials, civilians, and terrorists -- died in a battle in Andijon on the night of 12-13 May. Rights groups and some Western governments have said they believe hundreds more people may have been killed -- mostly unarmed civilians -- in shooting by Uzbek security forces.

Aftermath Of Andijon

Aftermath Of Andijon

A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.


An annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions.