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Report Decries Treatment Of Uzbek Rights Activists

A man being tried for his actions at Andijon in May 2005 (file photo) (RFE/RL) February 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A report by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights says that there is "systematic persecution" of rights activists in Uzbekistan.

The report by the Vienna-based organization says such activists are subjected to intimidation, surveillance, defamation campaigns, torture, ill treatment, and imprisonment.

It says their relatives are also persecuted by Uzbek authorities.

The report calls on the EU to make any weakening of sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan in late 2005 conditional on concrete steps by Tashkent toward ending such persecution.

The organization says its report is primarily based on first-hand information obtained during a recent fact-finding mission to Uzbekistan.

It is to be presented at a meeting of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament in Brussels on February 28.

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