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UN Slams Uzbekistan On Torture

Map - Uzbekistan
A key UN rights body has called on Uzbekistan to end its "systematic" use of torture and its persecution of human rights activists.

The UN Committee Against Torture on Firday issued a sharply critical report charging the Central Asian country with widespread human rights abuses.

Committee member George Tugushi, Georgia's human rights ombudsman, said the Uzbek government is "not willing to admit any of those problems."

Uzbekistan has been ruled by President Islam Karimov since 1989. The regime is considered one of the most repressive in the world.

Akmal Saidov, chairman of the National Human Rights Center of Uzbekistan, said the UN's charges of pervasive torture were "unfounded" and based on information provided by "biased" nongovernmental organizations.

(Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP)