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  • Zafar Khan
    Army kills 200 in second Uzbek city as thousands head for border By Peter Boehm in Andijan and Daniel Howden 17 May 2005
    Message 1 of 3 , May 17, 2005
      Army 'kills 200' in second Uzbek city as thousands
      head for border
      By Peter Boehm in Andijan and Daniel Howden
      17 May 2005

      http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/story.jsp?story=638927

      Authorities in Uzbekistan have lost control of a key
      border town in the eastern Ferghana valley, despite a
      brutal clampdown that has so far claimed the lives of
      an estimated 700 people.

      If reports of further killings can be confirmed the
      violence would be the most brutal of its kind in Asia
      since China gunned down hundreds of democracy
      protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

      The hardline government of Islam Karimov, an ally of
      London and Washington in the "war on terror", has
      dispatched an armoured force into the restive area in
      the east of the country after mass arrests of alleged
      radical Islamists sparked what appeared to be a
      popular uprising.

      Saidjahon Zaynabitdinov, head of Appeal, a local human
      rights advocacy group, said troops had killed about
      200 demonstrators on Saturday in Pakhtabad, just
      outside the city of Andijan, where witnesses saw
      security forces kill up to 500 civilians the previous
      night.

      United Nations officials, rights groups and Kyrgyz
      border police said thousands of refugees who were
      fleeing the violence in and around Andijan had made
      for the nearby border area, leading to further unrest.


      Security forces loyal to the regime of Mr Karimov had
      last night sealed off the town of Korasuv on the
      border with Kyrgyzstan.

      Heavily armed police set up roadblocks on the approach
      to Korasuv and officials admitted they had lost
      control of the town, which is an economic lifeline to
      the more affluent and liberal Kyrgyzstan .

      "There is no police in there and there is no civil
      administration there," a police official said.

      Andijan itself has been turned into a civilian ghost
      town. The city, which has a population of 300,000, was
      dominated yesterday by a massive military presence,
      reinforced by police on every street corner as the
      government reluctantly relaxed the strict controls in
      which reporters were ejected and the area sealed off
      on Sunday.

      Outside the prison compound where 23 local businessman
      had been held in the incident that sparked the
      protests, a wrecked car sprayed with bullet holes gave
      an indication of the scale of fighting.

      In the city centre, armoured personnel carriers, tanks
      and army trucks underlined the sense of a city under
      siege, while lorries loaded with soldiers carrying
      automatic rifles rumbled through.

      The headquarters of the regional administration, where
      the protesters gathered in support of the
      insurrection, was still blocked off by soldiers. The
      blackened and charred upper storeys of what had been
      the nerve centre of Mr Karimov's authority,
      pock-marked with bullet holes, bore witness to the
      fighting.

      Mr Karimov has sought to blame the violence on radical
      Islamists ­ with alleged links to al-Qa'ida ­
      attempting to overthrow the secular government in
      Tashkent. But human rights groups and independent
      observers, including the former British ambassador
      Craig Murray, say Mr Karimov was leading a brutal
      police state, propped up by the arbitrary detention
      and torture of Muslim dissidents protesting at the
      desperate economic conditions.

      Separatist movements in the Ferghana valley, which
      runs across the eastern border into Kyrgyzstan, sprang
      up in the early Nineties in response to Tashkent's
      persecution of minorities in the area. The security
      forces have waged a ruthless campaign to crush both
      the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which seeks a
      Muslim state in Ferghana, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, another
      Islamist group whose members have been blamed for a
      bomb attack and labelled "terrorists" by the Karimov
      regime.

      Sympathy for the protesters has spread as far as the
      capital, where a small gathering of people risked the
      wrath of the authorities to lay flowers in
      commemoration of the bloodiest days of fighting in the
      country's post-Soviet era.

      "It was a black day in Uzbek history. We are ashamed,"
      said Tashpulat Yuldashev, a political analyst. "We
      dissidents have been long been afraid of standing up
      to express our discontent. But this time we can't stay
      silent," he said.

      Many of the activists were wearing black armbands and
      ribbons.

      The rebellion in the Ferghana valley has given the
      country's fragmented and disorganised opposition
      movement a fresh momentum to unite and openly express
      opinions, Mr Yuldashev added. Opposition parties are
      banned from running in elections.

      State television has so far ignored the uprising,
      while Western and Russian broadcasts have been cut off
      since the clashes began on Friday.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Straw condemns Uzbekistan after 500 protesters are
      killed

      Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow and Ewen MacAskill in
      London
      Monday May 16, 2005
      The Guardian

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1484718,00.html

      The British government clashed openly with Uzbekistan
      yesterday over the violent suppression of a protest in
      the former Soviet republic that the Foreign Office
      said had left hundreds dead.

      In an unusual condemnation of a country routinely
      described as a loyal ally by both Britain and the US,
      Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, said yesterday
      there had been a "clear abuse of human rights".
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Straw criticises Uzbek ally as former envoy demands
      sanctions
      By Daniel Howden and Genevieve Roberts
      16 May 2005

      http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=638650

      As more details emerged of the bloody suppression of
      an uprising in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan, the
      British Government tried to distance itself from
      President Islam Karimov, an erstwhile ally in the "war
      on terror".

      Jack Straw , the Foreign Secretary, called for
      openness on the number of casualties and urged the
      Tashkent regime to allow the international Red Cross
      to help the wounded.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Rice breaks US silence on Uzbekistan by calling for
      reform
      By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
      17 May 2005

      http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=638940

      Ending an increasingly untenable silence, the US has
      issued a call for reform in its ally Uzbekistan, where
      the government violently suppressed an uprising in the
      restive eastern part of the country last week.

      The Uzbek system was "too closed", Condoleezza Rice,
      the Secretary of State, told reporters on her way back
      from her weekend visit to Iraq. "We have been
      encouraging the government to make reforms, to make it
      possible for people to have a political life."
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      US adds voice of protest as unrest spreads in
      Uzbekistan

      Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow and Ewen MacAskill
      Tuesday May 17, 2005
      The Guardian

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1485524,00.html

      Unrest spread across eastern Uzbekistan yesterday and
      fears grew of mass arrests as troops surrounded a
      border village and the state sought to stamp its
      authority on a region in revolt.
      The continuing tension came amid growing outrage from
      the international community at the alleged massacre of
      up to 500 civilians in the city of Andijan on Friday.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      More on Uzbekistan at:
      http://www.islamawareness.net/CentralAsia/Uzbekistan/





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    • Zafar Khan
      Latest news on Uzbekistan archeived at: http://www.islamawareness.net/CentralAsia/Uzbekistan/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Uzbekistan rejects
      Message 2 of 3 , May 21, 2005
        Latest news on Uzbekistan archeived at:
        http://www.islamawareness.net/CentralAsia/Uzbekistan/
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Uzbekistan rejects UN inquiry into killing of
        civilians
        By David Usborne in New York
        21 May 2005

        http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/story.jsp?story=640069

        The United Nations says it has been thwarted in its
        efforts to launch an international investigation into
        the recent violence in Uzbekistan, the most deadly
        since the country's declaration of independence in
        1991.

        The request to investigate the disturbances was turned
        down by President Islam Karimov. Kofi Annan, the UN
        secretary general, said: "[Karimov] said he had the
        situation under control and was taking every measure
        to bring those responsible to account and didn't need
        an international team to establish the facts."

        Violence erupted on Friday last week when security
        forces shot at protesters who had stormed a prison in
        the eastern city of Andijan, releasing prisoners and
        taking over government buildings. The opposition has
        said 700 people were killed. The government put the
        toll at 169. The unrest prompted calls from the US
        State Department last week for political reforms.

        UN officials said the situation was discussed on
        Thursday in a telephone call between Mr Annan and
        Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State. Mr Annan
        also met the acting US ambassador to the UN, Anne
        Patterson.

        The call for an international inquiry into the deaths
        of the civilians was made by Louise Arbour, the UN
        High Commissioner for Human Rights.

        Philip Alston, the UN's special investigator on
        illegal and arbitrary executions, also called on the
        Uzbek authorities to allow him to visit the country.
        He said he was "gravely concerned about reports that
        hundreds of people, including women and children, were
        killed on May 13 when government troops fired
        indiscriminately to disperse a demonstration".

        The Uzbek government denies that police fired on
        civilians and has blamed the unrest on Islamic
        militants.

        Ms Arbour conceded last night that outside scrutiny
        was now unlikely. "I think ... the response is not
        very promising," she said.

        Continuing political confusion in Uzbekistan has also
        forced the Pentagon to scale back its use of an air
        base in the country for its operations in neighbouring
        Afghanistan. "We have decided to make sure that we're
        cautious about how we're operating," said General John
        Abizaid, head of US Central Command.

        The Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for
        Human Rights and the Human Rights Society of
        Uzbekistan issued a joint statement saying that
        security forces may have killed 1,000 civilians and
        injured 2,000. Human rights groups have complained for
        years that Mr Karimov has used claims of religious
        extremism as a pretext to stamp out political dissent.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        He's our sonofabitch

        The west's support for the Uzbek regime exposes its
        destructive reliance on despots and tyrants

        Jonathan Freedland
        Wednesday May 18, 2005
        The Guardian

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1486339,00.html

        Think of it as the sonofabitch school of foreign
        policy. Legend has it that when Franklin D Roosevelt
        was confronted with the multiple cruelties of his
        ally, the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, he
        replied: "He may be a sonofabitch, but he's our
        sonofabitch."
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        AP: Uzbek Rebel Leader Wants Islamic State
        Wednesday May 18, 2005 9:46 AM
        By BAGILA BUKHARBAYEVA
        Associated Press Writer

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5013915,00.html

        KORASUV, Uzbekistan (AP) - The leader of a group of
        rebels claiming to control this Uzbek border town said
        Wednesday that he and his supporters intend to build
        an Islamic state and were ready to fight if government
        troops attempt to crush their revolt.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Slaughter 'signals end of Karimov regime'

        Battle for minds as Tashkent denies death toll of 745,
        claiming troops killed only terrorists

        Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow, and Jalil Saparov near
        Suzak, Kyrgyzstan
        Wednesday May 18, 2005
        The Guardian

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1486158,00.html

        Anonymous graves in Andijan. Cemetery workers said 37
        bodies were buried under police guard; the opposition
        claims 745 are known to be dead. Photograph: Misha
        Japaridze/AP


        Uzbekistan's opposition unveiled a list of 745 people
        yesterday said to have been killed by state troops in
        the east of the country, and raised the prospect of
        unrest in the capital over the apparent massacre.
        Nigara Khidoyatova, the leader of the Free Peasants
        party, which forms part of a broader opposition
        coalition, said her party had the names of 542 people
        killed on Friday in Andijan. The list included 203
        residents of the nearby town Pakhtabad, where there
        have been unsubstantiated claims of troops firing on
        civilians. Previous claims put the recent death toll
        at 500.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        'If the troops return, we will fight them'

        Rebel farmer vows to create Islamic caliphate in
        blockaded border town as international pressure builds
        on Karimov government

        Tom Parfitt in Kara Suu
        Thursday May 19, 2005
        The Guardian

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1486933,00.html

        From a scabbard tucked under the blue sash around his
        waist, Bakhtiyor Rakhimov whips a murderous-looking
        dagger and holds it up, glinting in the sunlight.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        UN demands inquiry on Uzbek deaths
        By Peter Boehm in Andijan
        19 May 2005

        http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/story.jsp?story=639575

        Uzbek special forces allowed foreign diplomats to tour
        the battered town of Andijan, but refused to take them
        to the site where up to 500 people, including women
        and children, are said to have been killed.

        The two-hour visit yesterday was followed by
        international calls for an independent investigation
        into the killings, with diplomats saying that many
        questions - such as casualty numbers - remained
        unanswered.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Uzbekistan rejects calls for investigation
        Agencies
        Friday May 20, 2005

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1488722,00.html

        Uzbek authorities have shrugged off calls from UN
        secretary general Kofi Annan for an international
        investigation into a government crackdown on
        protesters that witnesses say left hundreds of people
        dead.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Uzbek Faithful Attend Mosque Prayers

        http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=774521

        ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan May 20, 2005 — Uzbek authorities
        shrugged off the U.N. chief's call for an
        international probe into a government crackdown on
        protesters that witnesses say killed hundreds.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Uzbek troops reoccupy town

        Rebel leader held in night raid on border

        Tom Parfitt in Kara Suu
        Friday May 20, 2005
        The Guardian

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1488097,00.html

        Uzbek troops yesterday reoccupied the rebel border
        town whose inhabitants drove out police and soldiers
        in the wake of the massacre in nearby Andijan.

        Witnesses said about 200 troops moved into Kara Suu
        under cover of darkness and by morning had control of
        the town. It appeared there was no widespread
        violence, although local people reported gunfire.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        US cuts back Uzbek military links

        Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow
        Saturday May 21, 2005
        The Guardian

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1489044,00.html

        The Pentagon has said it plans to scale back its
        military presence in Uzbekistan after government
        troops reportedly shot dead hundreds of civilians last
        Friday.

        The US has an airbase in the southern town of
        Khanabad, known as K-2 or Camp Stronghold Freedom,
        originally created to supply the invasion of
        Afghanistan. Analysts have said the need for the base
        has led Washington to declare Uzbekistan an ally in
        the "war on terror" and to supply President Islam
        Karimov's regime with hundreds of millions of dollars
        in aid.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





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      • Zafar Khan
        U.S.-trained Uzbek forces present during Andijan crackdown Sunday, May 29, 2005 By BURT HERMAN Associated Press Writer
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 1, 2005
          U.S.-trained Uzbek forces present during Andijan
          crackdown
          Sunday, May 29, 2005

          By BURT HERMAN
          Associated Press Writer

          http://www.napanews.com/templates/index.cfm?template=story_full&id=11CF7399-188F-406C-91AC-E4C263C84EDC

          ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan -- The armed, masked guard behind
          the gate at police headquarters projected sheer force,
          but his eyes brightened as he fondly remembered his
          time training in the United States.

          The U.S. government has trained and equipped Uzbek
          troops and police -- the same forces who opened fire
          without warning on some 2,000 demonstrators this month
          in this eastern city. Now international groups are
          urging Washington to reconsider its aid and
          involvement.

          President Islam Karimov has rejected calls for an
          independent inquiry into the crackdown. The government
          claims 173 were killed, including 36 troops. But human
          rights groups allege that hundreds died when on May 13
          Uzbek forces fired on demonstrators who seized
          government buildings and freed a jail in anger over
          the prosecution of 23 businessmen for alleged Islamic
          extremism.

          Under U.S. law, no unit of a foreign military can
          receive training if it is found to have committed a
          gross violation of human rights.

          Uzbek officials won't name the exact units involved in
          the Andijan events for security reasons. But one
          police official said all the country's elite forces
          had been mobilized here.

          "There were regular army and special forces of all
          sorts, both Interior Ministry and National Security
          Service," the official said on condition of anonymity.
          "Everyone was there."

          At the Andijan police headquarters, the masked guard
          wearing blue-and-grey urban camouflage said he was an
          intelligence officer with the Kalkon unit, meaning
          "Shield."

          Seeing a foreign reporter, he briefly reminisced about
          training in the United States, where lessons were
          first translated into Russian, but because not
          everyone could understand, an Uzbek speaker from
          Tashkent was later summoned.

          Uzbekistan has been a key ally in the war on terror,
          providing a base for American troops for operations in
          neighboring Afghanistan. But even before the Sept. 11,
          2001 attacks, the U.S. government provided training
          and equipment to Uzbek troops and police.

          Under a 2002 strategic partnership agreement between
          Washington and Tashkent, the United States pledged to
          help equip Uzbek military units and train them in
          combating terrorism, drug trafficking, money
          laundering and other threats.

          Karimov has used the language of anti-terrorism in
          explaining authorities' actions in Andijan, claiming
          the instigators were extremists bent on creating a
          Muslim state -- and refusing to acknowledge any
          peaceful protesters were present as seen by reporters.

          U.S. and Uzbek soldiers have held regular training
          exercises since the 1990s, with American special
          forces troops heading to the mountains with their
          Uzbek counterparts for lessons on repelling incursions
          -- a main worry for Uzbekistan after several such
          attacks starting in the late 1990s by the
          al-Qaida-allied Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

          Much U.S. assistance also focuses on worries about the
          spread of weapons of mass destruction across rugged,
          poorly controlled borders. Uzbekistan controls half of
          an island in the Aral Sea that was the site of a
          Soviet biological weapons research lab, and has some
          nuclear facilities.

          Uzbek troops have also traveled to American bases,
          including trips to Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort
          Bragg in North Carolina for special forces, airborne
          and English-language programs.

          Uzbekistan's human rights abuses have caused it to
          lose aid before. Last July, the U.S. State Department
          withdrew most of its aid after failing to certify
          Tashkent had made progress to rectify its abuses.

          But later that month, Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S.
          commander in the region, flew to the Uzbek capital
          Tashkent to reassure the Uzbeks that the American
          military would maintain and even boost its cooperation
          -- aid that is separate from State Department
          assistance.

          After the Andijan violence, Abizaid said the U.S.
          military was scaling back operations at the
          Karshi-Khanabad base in southern Uzbekistan. But
          officers at the base told a visiting Associated Press
          reporter that they hadn't noted any reduction in
          movement there.

          The Uzbeks are now engaged in talks with Washington
          hoping to get compensation for use of the base, now
          rent-free for U.S. troops.

          Noting the base negotiations that could be a financial
          windfall for Uzbekistan, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch
          expressed concern this week that Defense Department
          cooperation with the country continues, and that the
          European Union also gives some $20.1 million in
          indirect assistance. Uzbek troops in Andijan were seen
          driving around in British Land Rovers.

          "The U.S. and the EU have to make clear that there
          will be real consequences for a cover-up if there is
          no independent investigation, and they have to set a
          deadline for it to take place," Holly Cartner, Europe
          and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said
          in a statement.

          The sentiment was echoed by the Brussels-based
          International Crisis Group think tank, which noted
          Thursday that despite the decline in U.S. aid in
          recent years, there is a "widespread perception among
          Uzbeks that the U.S. strongly backs an increasingly
          unpopular regime."

          "For too long (the international community) has
          ignored the abuses of the Karimov regime and the signs
          that trouble was brewing in the country," the group
          said in a report on the Andijan crackdown. "The failed
          policies of muted criticism -- and tacit support --
          must be abandoned."

          It's not clear if any immediate reconsideration of
          assistance is in the works. On Wednesday, U.S. State
          Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Washington
          continues to press for reforms and an open
          investigation into the Andijan violence, but that
          anti-terrorism cooperation with Uzbekistan would
          continue.

          "It doesn't do any of us any good to abandon the
          effort against terrorism in this critical region,"
          Boucher said. "So we will continue work with them in
          many areas, including the fight against terrorism."
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          3 U.S. Senators Seek Inquiry Into Killings in
          Uzbekistan

          By C. J. CHIVERS
          Published: May 30, 2005

          http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/30/international/asia/30uzbek.html

          MOSCOW, May 29 - In the strongest statement by
          American officials since Uzbekistan carried out a
          bloody crackdown this month against a revolt and
          demonstration in the city of Andijon, three United
          States senators on Sunday called for an international
          investigation into the violence. They also issued a
          stern rebuke to Uzbekistan's authoritarian government.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          More on Uzbekistan at:
          http://www.islamawareness.net/CentralAsia/Uzbekistan/




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