Uzbekistan: EU must not forget the mass killings of Andizhan

Uzbekistan: EU must not forget the mass killings of Andizhan

Brussels (28 April) – As EU Foreign Ministers meet in Brussels today to discuss the suspension of sanctions on Uzbekistan, Amnesty International says that the EU should not forget the mass killings carried out by government forces in Andizhan. Following these killings in 2005, the EU imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan and demanded an independent international investigation into the events, which has still not taken place. The EU should remain firm and committed to this demand.      

“The EU cannot forget why it imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan in the first place – to push for an independent investigation of the killing of hundreds of people protesting against the government,” said Natalia Alonso, Deputy Director at Amnesty International’s EU office. “Three years on the families of the Andizhan victims are still waiting for justice,” she added.

Amnesty International is concerned about the impact that the EU ministers’ decision may have on the human rights situation in the country. In particular, it will send the wrong message regarding the Andizhan mass killings – that Uzbekistan can continue to ignore calls for an independent investigation with total impunity.

Although there have been some improvements in the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, the government continues to limit freedom of movement and expression for independent journalists and human rights defenders, including international NGOs. It has failed so far to investigate consistent allegations of torture and other ill-treatment.

A briefing on the general human rights situation in Uzbekistan is available Download PDF attachement