Accessibility links

Breaking News

Third Group Of Uzbek Refugees Prepares To Return

Scene from a refugee camp on the Kyrgyz border in the immediate aftermath of the bloodshed in Andijon (epa) PRAGUE, August 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A new group of about 55 Uzbek refugees, who were resettled to the United States from Kyrgyzstan last year, are ready to return home.

The refugees come from Andijon, the eastern Uzbek city that in May 2005 was a scene of a bloody military crackdown aimed at restoring government authority in the wake of a popular uprising.

They had initially sought shelter in neighboring Kyrgyzstan before obtaining UN refugee status and being resettled to the U.S. state of Idaho.

Talking to RFE/RL from Boise, the capital of Idaho, Uzbek exile Akram Muhamedov said the group will be leaving "in a couple of days" after an exact date is set by the Uzbek Embassy in Washington.

The refugees will cover the cost of bus tickets to New York themselves, but "they say the embassy will pay half of their plane tickets" to Tashkent, Muhamedov said.

Only four or five Uzbeks opted not to return to Uzbekistan.

In July, a first group of 12 former Andijon residents left the United States to return home. They were followed last week by another group of 41 people.

A total of 150 Andijon refugees were resettled to the U.S. from Kyrgyzstan last year.

Muhamedov says that among those who are preparing to leave are several relatives of Akram Yoldashev, the purported leader of a radical religious group Uzbek authorities blame for the Andijon uprising.

Yoldashev is serving a 17-year jail sentence for allegedly masterminding an assassination attempt on Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

Aftermath Of Andijon

Aftermath Of Andijon

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


An annotated timeline of the Andijon events and their repercussions.