Human Rights Watch (HRW) is urging U.S. State Secretary John Kerry to pressure Uzbekistan over rights abuses.
In a statement on March 8, the New York-based group called on Kerry to publicly express concern about Uzbekistan’s deteriorating human-rights situation during his meeting with the Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov on March 12 in Washington.
The U.S. visit of the Uzbek delegation next week comes as the United States and European Union member states are deepening their military engagement with Tashkent.
HRW says Tashkent wants the United States to ignore human-rights abuses in the country in exchange for transit rights for American troops leaving Afghanistan this and next year.
According to HRW, Uzbek authorities continue to oppress human-rights activists, opposition figures, and journalists.