A camp for Uzbek refugees in Kyrgyzstan, June 2005 (RFE/RL)
BISHKEK, 16 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court today denied refugee status to two Uzbek nationals who fled to Kyrgyzstan during a military crackdown in eastern Uzbekistan last year.
The court's decision upholds an earlier government decision. However, Kyrgyzstan's prosecutor-general, Kambaraly Kongantiev, could grant the two asylum based on an earlier decision by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to grant them refugee status.
The head of the UN refugee agency's mission in Kyrgyzstan, Carlos Zaccagnini, says he will urge Bishkek not to extradite the two men, Jakhongir Maksudov and Odiljan Rakhimov.
The two are wanted by Uzbek authorities on suspicion of involvement in what they view as a militant uprising in the city of Andijon in May 2005.
Maksudov and Rakhimov believe they may face persecution and torture if forced back into Uzbekistan, an assertion backed by human rights advocates.
Two other Uzbek nationals are awaiting similar court appearances. The Kyrgyz authorities have not yet said when those hearings will be held.
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.