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German Lawmaker Sees No Rights Progress In Uzbekistan

The body of one of the victims of the government crackdown in Andijon being buried in May 2005 (epa) October 17, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A member of a German parliamentary delegation that visited Uzbekistan recently says President Islam Karimov's administration has made no real effort to improve its human rights record since a bloody crackdown that killed many people in Andijon more than a year ago.

Talking to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service from Berlin, Volker Beck of the Green Party said he thinks the European Union should maintain the sanctions it imposed on Uzbekistan after security forces opened fire on demonstrators amid unrest in the eastern city of Andijon in May 2005.

"Our delegation will discuss the [human rights situation in Uzbekistan] in a report that we are writing now," said Beck, who was part of a delegation that visited Uzbekistan on October 9-14. "My personal view is that there is not enough improvement on human rights issues to lift the sanctions, actually."

Following Karimov's refusal to allow for an international investigation into the events of Andijon, the European Union in 2005 imposed a ban on arms sales to Tashkent and a one-year visa ban on Uzbek officials suspected of being responsible for the killing of unarmed civilians.

The EU is due to decide whether to lift the sanctions on November 14.

Beck, who is a member of the German Bundestag's human rights committee, said the rights situation in Uzbekistan remains "difficult," RFE/RL reported.

He also urged Germany, which is due to assume the rotating EU Presidency on January 1, not to let its security interests in Uzbekistan take precedence over its commitments to the defense of human rights.

Uzbek rights campaigner Bakhtiyor Khamroev has refused to meet with the visiting German lawmakers to protest what he called Berlin's "continuing cooperation" with Tashkent.

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.