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Russian Activists Rally For 'Andijon' Detainees

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, August 11, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A small group of rights activists demonstrated today in Moscow against a decision to extradite 13 people to Uzbekistan.

The 12 Uzbek nationals and one Kyrgyz citizen are awaiting extradition to Uzbekistan, where they are wanted in connection with the May 2005 unrest in the city of Andijon

The 13 are at a pretrial detention center in the central Russian city of Ivanovo, where they have been in custody since their arrest in June 2005.

Today's demonstration was organized by Grazhdanskoe Sodeistviye, a Moscow-based group that helps refugees in Russia.

Civic Assistance's Iraliya Galimulina, who coordinated today's protest, told RFE/RL from Moscow the 13 men could face torture if deported to Uzbekistan.

"The Uzbek [authorities] have fabricated the charges brought against them, and now the Russian prosecutor-general has decided to extradite them to Uzbekistan," she said. "It means they will be sent directly to prison, where they will be beaten until they confess that they are terrorists and confess to rising up against the authorities in Andijon. We're trying now to prevent their illegal extradition, which violates international legal norms."

Uzbekistan on August 9 said the 13 detainees are accused of funding and helping organize the Andijon uprising.

The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office announced its decision to extradite them on August 3, saying it had received assurances from its Uzbek counterpart that they will not be ill treated or executed.

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)


Andijon Refugees In Romania Have Escaped Violence, But Not Heartache

Refugees In Romania Await Decision On Destination

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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