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Uzbek Repatriate Jailed For Role In Andijon Protests

Dilorom Abduqodirova
Dilorom Abduqodirova
A court in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon has sentenced Dilorom Abduqodirova to 10 years and two months in prison for her alleged role in deadly protests five years ago, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Abduqodirova, 44, was among at least 400 refugees from Uzbekistan who were evaluated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) following the bloody government suppression of a demonstration in Andijon in May 2005 during which hundreds of people were killed.

Adbuqodirova, a housewife with four children, emigrated to Australia but returned to Uzbekistan on January 7 and was arrested at the Tashkent airport.

She was released five days later but arrested again in March and charged with illegally exiting and entering the country, infringing on the constitution, and taking part in a mass uprising.

An observant Muslim who wore head scarves, Abduqodirova appeared bare-headed in court on April 29 when she pleaded guilty to the charges. Her relatives noted that Abduqodirova appeared extremely upset and exhausted at the trial and would not look at them while in court.

Abduqodirova's brother, Muhammadjon Muminov, alleges she was drugged or tortured to confess to the crimes that he said she did not commit.

She was sentenced by the court today.