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HRW Wants Germany To Probe Former Uzbek Minister

Zokirjon Almatov, Uzbekistan's former interior minister (file photo) (official site) April 6, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S.-based rights group is criticizing Germany for failing to investigate the former interior minister of Uzbekistan for alleged crimes against humanity committed during an uprising in 2005 the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon.

The group, Human Rights Watch, and eight Uzbeks last year filed the complaint against Zokirjon Almatov with Germany's federal prosecutor.

Almatov was thought to be in Germany for medical treatment at the time the complaint was filed.

The prosecutor, Kay Nehm, says he chose not to launch the probe because he did not expect cooperation from Uzbekistan and the case would likely fail as a result.

In a statement, HRW says it will challenge the decision. It also criticized Germany for allowing Almatov to enter the country when the German government was "clearly aware" of his probable role in the Andijon crackdown.

German law allows for the prosecution of crimes against humanity regardless of where the alleged crimes were committed, and does not require that the accused or the victims be in Germany.

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.

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