A human rights discussion cannot be absent from Central Asia Ministerial

A substantial discussion on human rights issues should take place at next Monday’s meeting between the EU and the Foreign Ministers of the five Central Asian countries, said Amnesty International.

The human rights organization provided the EU with a detailed briefing describing on-going abuses which involve the use of torture, persecution of minorities and human rights defenders, and repeated violations of freedom of expression. (See: Recent Documents)

The numerous human rights violations that persist across these countries cannot be ignored. Regarding Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, alone, Amnesty International offered detailed information on a series of individual cases – people who have been illegally detained and tortured and who, in many cases, remain at risk of more persecution. 

Given the forthcoming Cooperation Council with Uzbekistan it is even more critical that the EU addresses these cases.

“The ongoing failure to investigate the killings of hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in Andizhan in 2005 is a sad reminder of why there needs to be a consistent policy of raising human rights” said Nicolas Beger, director of Amnesty International’s EU Office. 

 “In coherence with its own commitment to seek progress on human rights issues at all meetings with third countries the EU should not shy away from difficult topics at next week’s meeting,” he added.

The human rights organization also urged the EU to request that the Central Asian countries immediately grant full access to human rights monitors from international organizations, including representatives of the Red Cross, the UN and NGOs.