Uzbekistan and the Massacre at Andijan
On May 13, 2005, Government of Uzbekistan security forces massacred hundreds of civilians during an indiscriminate attack on demonstrators in the city of Andijan. Despite worldwide condemnation and strong words from the US Administration, few concrete actions have been taken in response to what independent human rights observers have classified a tragedy on the scale of the 1989 slaughter in Tiananmen Square, China.

August 1, 2005

On May 13, 2005, Government of Uzbekistan security forces massacred hundreds of civilians during an indiscriminate attack on demonstrators in the city of Andijan. Despite worldwide condemnation and strong words from the US Administration, few concrete actions have been taken in response to what independent human rights observers have classified a tragedy on the scale of the 1989 slaughter in Tiananmen Square, China.

OSPC has led efforts in Washington to raise awareness of the Government of Uzebekistan’s atrocious human rights record and their direct role in the Andijan killings. Early in July, OSPC hosted a visit to Washington by Galima Bukharbaeva and Marcus Bensemann, journalists who witnessed the Andijan massacre. Their meetings, testimony before the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) and participation in a press conference organized by Members of Congress helped galvanize efforts aimed at imposing sanctions on the Uzbek regime. OSPC convened an NGO working group whose members have collectively and individually supported conditioning of US assistance to Uzbekistan on acceptance of a credible, independent investigation of the Andijan killings and other significant steps to address the increasingly dismal human rights situation. OSPC has also sought legislation requiring the US Department of Defense to produce contingency plans for withdrawal of US forces from Uzbekistan so as not to subject national and regional security interests to the whims of a repressive regime which regularly threatens to curtail US access to bases. OSPC and NGO partners have also called for urgent measures to protect Uzbek refugees in neighboring Kyrgyzstan who face severe pressure from Uzbek security forces actively seeking their forced repatriation.

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