[JURIST] The UN on Friday evacuated 11 Uzbek refugees to London after they fled to Kyrgyzstan [JURIST news archive] following deadly riots [JURIST report] that erupted in Andijan last spring. The 11 refugees were accused of terrorism by the Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] government, but the UN plans to relocate them to Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands. Human rights groups have said that as many as 500 people were killed [JURIST report] in the riots that led to Uzbek security forces shooting into crowds of protesters. The Uzbek government has said that only 187 were killed in the violence and that many involved were criminals. Refugees fleeing to Kyrgyzstan following the riots created tension in the central Asian region, as Kyrgyzstan cooperated in UN efforts to evacuate the refugees and refused to hand over suspects that it held. The UN evacuated 439 refugees from Kyrgyzstan following the riots, enraging the Uzbek government. Four refugees remain held in Kyrgyzstan on suspicion that they are criminals, but the Kyrgyz government has pledged to the UN not to deport them [JURIST report] to Uzbekistan, which is suspected of torturing prisoners. Reuters has more.
Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...
- Kyrgyzstan to consult UN and Uzbekistan over refugees
- Kyrgyzstan refusal to surrender Uzbek refugees continues
- Kyrgyzstan plans to extradite 15 Uzbek asylum seekers
- Uzbekistan denounces refugee airlifts, pledges to end death penalty
- UN begins airlift of Uzbek refugees from Kyrgyzstan
- UN rights commission renews calls for investigation into Uzbek killings