A demonstration against President Islam Karimov at the Uzbek Embassy in Brussels today (RFE/RL)
PRAGUE, May 12, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Demonstrators today commemorated the violent crackdown in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon that took place one year ago tomorrow, May 13.
In Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent, police broke up a small demonstration held by activists demanding an independent probe into the Andijon events. Police tore down banners declaring "Shame on Uzbekistan, Shame on [President] Islam Karimov."
Uzbek opposition members held demonstrations in New York, Kyiv, and Istanbul.
In Osh, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbek oppositionists who had fled their home country cancelled a planned demonstration. The opposition members said they had been warned that as refugees, they didn't have the right to participate in political rallies.
Also today, the United States today joined calls for a full investigation into the killings of demonstrators.
Uzbek authorities blame Islamic militants for instigating the Andijon violence. Rights advocates and witnesses say many more people were killed than the government admits, including many unarmed civilians.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Uzbek authorities should also immediately stop what he called a crackdown on civil society. He said the United States has not ruled out possible sanctions against Uzbekistan if it doesn't address human rights concerns.