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U.S. Report Says Conditions Worsened Considerably In Uzbekistan

Uzbek refugees from Andijon fleeing to Kyrgyzstan in May (epa) PRAGUE, March 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- In Uzbekistan, the government's human rights record, already poor, worsened considerably during 2005, the U.S. State Department said in its annual report on human rights worldwide.

The report, issued on 8 March, says high unemployment and endemic corruption precipitated a violent uprising in May in the city of Andijon. That, in turn, led to a wave of repressive government reaction that dominated the remainder of the year.

The U.S. State Department also concluded that arbitrary arrests and prison deaths under suspicious circumstances, as well as systematic torture and abuse of detainees by security forces continued throughout 2005.

The report says Uzbek authorities oppressed the opposition, put limitations on the freedom of speech and press, harassed and intimidated journalists, blocked access to Internet content objectionable to the government, restricted freedom of assembly and association, violated religious rights, and discriminated against ethnic and religious minorities.

The report says the Uzbek government made an attempt to reduce human trafficking by sponsoring training for consular officers abroad in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration, which "significantly improved efforts to free victims" and resulted in increased numbers of victims returning to the country.

However, the document says, trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation, and men for labor exploitation, still remain problems.

For an overview of the State Department report, click here.

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.