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UN begins airlift of Uzbek refugees from Kyrgyzstan

[JURIST] The UN High Commission for Refugees [official website] began airlifting Uzbek refugees from Kyrgyzstan Wednesday amidst concerns for their safety there [JURIST report]. As many as 455 refugees will eventually be relocated [UNHCR press release]. The refugees fled a violent uprising [JURIST report] in May 2005 in the city of Andijan, and the Uzbek government has demanded their return. The UNHCR is stepping in to prevent refugees from being forcibly returned by the Kyrgyz government, warning that expulsions could violate the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention [text]. AP has more.

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