Cablegate: Receipt of Letter From Unhcr High Commissioner
UNCLAS GENEVA 001764
DEPT FOR PRM/MCE, SS EXEC OFFICE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF UNHCR
SUBJECT: RECEIPT OF LETTER FROM UNHCR HIGH COMMISSIONER
ANTONIO GUTERRES ADDRESSED TO SECRETARY OF STATE
1. (U) Mission has received the following letter, dated
July 18, from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Antonio Guterres addressed to Secretary of State Condoleezza
The situation of the persons who fled due to the recent
events in Andijan, Republic of Uzbekistan, and who now are in
the Kyrgyz Republic continues to be of great concern to my
Office and the international community. Immediate action is
required to ensure their protection as the risk of their
forcible return to Uzebekistan has dramatically increased,
and I should like to call upon your Government to assist by
helping to resettle members of this group.
On 13-14 May 2005, credible sources report the indiscriminate
use of deadly force against unarmed civilians by Uzbek
security authorities in the city of Andijan. Some 500 people
directly fled to the Kyrgyz Republic. At present, there are
427 Uzbeks in a camp near the Kyrgyz city of Jalalabad and 29
Uzbek asylum-seekers are detained in Osh. All of these
persons have sought recognition of their refugee status by
Kyrgyz authorities and my Office.
Since the beginning of this protection emergency, the threat
of deportation has been ever-present. Already, four Uzbek
asylum-seekers have been returned forcefully to Uzbekistan by
the Kyrgyz authorities, to an uncertain fate. It is only
after the strong intervention of the United Nations
Secretary-General, my Office, the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights and the international community
that further deportations of asylum-seekers have been, until
Authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic Government will soon
finish the refugee status determination (RSD) process for all
Uzbek asylum seekers in the camp and for those in detention.
The RSD process has all been facilitated, supported and
closely monitored by UNHCR. Individual RSD decisions may be
announced by the Kyrgyz Department of Migration Services in
the coming weeks.
At this stage it is the view of my Office that 26 applicants
in the detention facility in Osh qualify for refugee status
following an individual refugee status determination
procedure. The Uzbek applicants in the Sasik camp are also
considered by UNHCR as refugees on a prima facie basis,
excepting any that may be individually excludable under
international refugee law.
Alarmingly, we have received credible information that the
refugees in the camp and in detention are in great danger.
They could be deported shortly or subjected to other
unofficial removal actions.
Given the danger faced by these refugees, we have decided to
evacuate them from the Kyrgyz Republic as soon as possible.
We are currently in the process of identifying a country that
would be willing to receive this group for a short period on
their soil, until more durable resettlement opportunities
have been found for them.
Temporary permission to stay for this group hinges on their
being rapidly resettled to a third country. I therefore
appeal to your Government to assist us in this exceptional,
life-saving operation by agreeing to provide resettlement
places for all or part of this group.
Please accept, Madam, the assurance of my highest
2. (U) Mission will send the original letter and attached
documents via Federal Express.