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EU Experts Wrap Up Andijon Talks In Uzbekistan

(RFE/RL) December 15, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- European Union experts are preparing to leave Uzbekistan after five days discussing the May 2005 Andijon events with government officials, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reported.

The head of the EU delegation, Finnish diplomat Pekka Oinonen, told RFE/RL that European experts met with a couple of inmates convicted of involvement in what Uzbek authorities describe as a foreign-sponsored armed Islamist uprising.

"They told [about] their experience [of the Andijon events], when and how the shooting started," Oinonen said. "We didn't expect any Earth-moving revelations, but we got something out that we hadn't had before from the official documents."

Rights groups dispute the authorities' account of events, which blames armed insurgents for the death of many of the 187 people that were officially killed during the unrest. They say government troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians while reasserting control over the rebellious city.

The EU visitors traveled to Andijon on December 14 to meet with regional officials. Oinonen said they had "no time" to meet with residents.

Uzbekistan has refused to let the international community investigate the Andijon events.

On November 8, the Uzbek government agreed to launch what it calls "expert discussions" with the EU on that issue.

In return, the bloc did not expand the sanctions it imposed on Tashkent following the Andijon bloodshed.

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.