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Kyrgyzstan Deports Five Andijon Refugees

Refugee camps on the Kyrgyz border were the first stop for many of the Uzbeks who fled Andijon in May 2005 (epa) PRAGUE, August 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The Kyrgyz authorities have ordered the deportation of five Uzbek nationals wanted by Uzbekistan for their alleged role in unrest in Andijon last year.

All five refugees had crossed into Kyrgyzstan after Uzbek government troops violently quelled demonstrations in Andijon. At least 187 people died.

An official in the Prosecutor- General's Office said all five detainees were deported on August 9 from the southern city of Osh.

Tursunbek Akun, the chairman of the Kyrgyz presidential human rights commission, condemned the decision, saying the prosecutor-general had "brought shame on us, on Kyrgyzstan, before the eyes of the world community."

Akun told RFE/RL that Kambaraly Kongantiev "did not respect existing international conventions and norms" and "simply sought ways to please Uzbekistan."

Four of the deportees -- Zhahongir Maqsudov, Yaqub Toshboev, Odilzhon Rahimov, and Rasulzhon Pirmatov -- were arrested in June, despite being recognized as asylum seekers by the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR.

The fifth refugee, Fayoz Tojihalilov, was arrested in September.

Human rights groups had called on Kyrgyzstan not to extradite them, saying they might face torture or execution in Uzbekistan.

Andijon Refugees

Andijon Refugees

Uzbek refugees in Kyrgyzstan on May 19, 2005 (epa)

NO PLACE TO GO: More than 400 Uzbeks who fled in panic in the hours and days after troops opened fire on demonstrators in Andijon one year ago have been granted political asylum outside Central Asia. In limbo for weeks in Kyrgyzstan as they and the world tried to come to grips with the bloody events of May 12 and 13, they feared for their lives and the lives of family members as the official crackdown continued.... (more)


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Refugees Want To Return Only If Regime Changes

THE COMPLETE STORY: A dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of the events in Andijon, Uzbekistan, in May 2005 and their continuing repercussions.


For an annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions, click here.

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