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Detained Uzbeks In Kyrgyzstan Should Be Resettled

Detained Uzbeks In Kyrgyzstan Should Be Resettled In Third Country – UN Expert

New York, Oct 18 2005

A United Nations human rights expert today called on Kyrgyzstan not to return four detained Uzbeks to their homeland where torture is reported to be systematic, but to facilitate their resettlement in a third country.

At the same time, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Leandro Despouy, expressed deep appreciation for the Kyrgyz authorities’ “courageous decision” to facilitate the resettlement of 450 other Uzbeks who had fled after what the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has said may have been a mass killing.

The four had been held at a camp in Kyrgyzstan together with the 450 others but were arrested after extradition requests by the Prosecutor-General of Uzbekistan. Four others were involuntarily returned to Uzbekistan in June under what are still unknown circumstances. The Uzbeks fled to Kyrgyzstan in the immediate aftermath of violent events in Andijan, eastern Uzbekistan, on 12 and 13 May.

“The Special Rapporteur expresses grave concern with regard to the fate of the remaining four Uzbek citizens. He also notes that they have already been in Kyrgyz detention facilities since mid-June,” Mr. Despouy said in a statement following a visit to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Noting that the Special Rapporteur against Torture of the UN Commission on Human Rights has concluded that torture is systematic in Uzbekistan, he voiced concern over pressure on Kyrgyzstan and attempts by Uzbek agents on Kyrgyz territory to return the four to Uzbekistan.

He stressed that international treaties ratified by Kyrgyzstan contain the prohibition against the return of any person to another state where he or she may face a real risk of torture.

ENDS

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