Report: Uzbekistan persecuting Andijans

BRUSSELS, May 4 (UPI) -- Uzbekistan's government is harassing relatives of people suspected of participating in anti-government protests in Andijan, human rights advocates allege.

Government forces killed hundreds of mostly unarmed people during the protests in May 2005, Human Rights Watch said in a release Tuesday.


Since then, the government has continued to persecute the relatives of Andijan survivors seeking to leave the country, said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"There is a climate of fear in Andijan that is still palpable five years after the atrocities," she said, noting school officials humiliate the children of refugees while adults suspected of witnessing the massacre are being beaten, threatened and detained.

The European Union and the United States should use the fifth anniversary of the protests to urge the Uzbek government to punish those responsible for the killings and to compensate victims, Cartner said.

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