Accessibility links

Breaking News

HRW Urges Kazakh Probe Of Return Of Uzbek Refugees

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) is urging Kazakhstan to investigate the forced return of Uzbek citizens who were seeking asylum in Kazakhstan.

HRW says its demand stems from November 2005, when nine Uzbek men living in southern Kazakhstan "disappeared" and later acknowledged to be in Uzbek custody. Some of the returnees were registered asylum seekers.

Kazakh officials deny involvement in the returns. But HRW says it has new evidence linking Kazakh law-enforcement and security officials to the seizure and deportation of four of the men. Two of them are due to go on trial today in Tashkent.

HRW says the nine fled Uzbekistan because of religious persecution.

HRW says Kazakh authorities must investigate the forced returns, because they violated Kazakhstan's obligations to uphold international conventions on refugees and torture.

Central Asia In Focus

Central Asia In Focus

THE COMPLETE STORY: Click on the icon to view a dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.