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Tashkent Denies Role In Disappearance Of Asylum Seekers

This camp on the Kyrgyz border was the first staging post for many of the Uzbek refugees from Andijon; hundreds are now dispersed across the globe. (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, August 22, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Uzbekistan today denied any involvement in the disappearance of two of its nationals who went missing from their homes in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on August 16.

The chairwoman of the Kyrgyz rights group Adilet on August 19 told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that the two -- Valijon Bobojonov and Saidullo Shokirov -- are being held in detention in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon.

A Tashkent-based pro-government website,, today quotes unidentified security officials as saying that "Uzbekistan has nothing to do" with the disappearance of the two men, both of whom were seeking asylum in Kyrgyzstan.

The officials also said that neither man is wanted in Uzbekistan and that Tashkent has never sought their extradition from Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan on August 9 extradited four UN-recognized refugees and one asylum-seeker to Uzbekistan, where they were wanted for their alleged participation in antigovernment protests that triggered a bloody government crackdown in Andijon in May 2005.

Andijon Anniversary Conference

Andijon Anniversary Conference

Violence in Andijon, Uzbekistan, on May 14, 2005 (epa)

TALKING ABOUT ANDIJON: On May 9, 2006, RFE/RL, the National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S.-based human rights organizations cohosted a conference on the May 2005 events in Andijon and their aftermath in Uzbekistan and throughout the region. The first panel featured Andijon eyewitness GALIMA BUKHARBAEVA, National Endowment for Democracy Fellow NOZIMA KAMALOVA, RFE/RL Central Asia analyst DANIEL KIMMAGE, and others. The second panel featured presentations by U.S. Senator JOHN MCCAIN and U.S. Congressman CHRISTOPHER SMITH, who used the forum to announce they had introduced legislation calling for sanctions and other measures against the government of President Islam Karimov.


Listen to the Andijon conference.
Part One (70 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media
Part Two (60 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media
The Uzbek government's response:
Real Audio Windows Media

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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