Manfred Nowak, the UN special rapporteur on torture (file photo) (AFP)
TASHKENT, April 19, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Uzbekistan's Interior Ministry has rejected accusations by the UN's special rapporteur on torture that the country's law enforcement officers and security agents continue to systematically practice torture, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.
The comments from Alisher Sharipov, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, come in reaction to statements made by Manfred Nowak in an interview with RFE/RL's Uzbek Service earlier this month.
Sharipov said Nowak did not have sufficient information to make such statements.
"International experts have visited and checked the situation several times," Sharipov said. "Unbiased investigations were done. No such facts were revealed. We gave information about this on the [government] website. I cannot say anything about these allegations [of Manfred Novak]. These are just general phrases, which are not based on anything. There is no concrete facts. Nothing was confirmed. How can I answer the dry words, nothing can be said."
Sharipov said Uzbekistan has implemented 20 of the 22 recommendations made by Nowak's predecessor as special rapporteur, Theo Van Boven, and has also taken into consideration recommendations made by the UN's independent expert on human rights -- Latif Huseynov -- who visited Uzbekistan in October 2004.
(with addition matieral from press-uz.info)