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Rebels, officials on trial for Andijan uprising

[JURIST] An additional 114 people went on trial Wednesday in Uzbekistan on charges stemming from the May 2005 Andijan uprising [HRW backgrounder], which led to government troops killing as many as 500 protestors [JURIST report]. The Uzbek Supreme Court has released a statement that 78 civilian defendants are charged with "taking part in terrorist acts" in the eastern city, and 38 policemen and soldiers face charges of failing to prevent attacks on government sites. The charges are the latest in a string of trials against those participating in the uprising, though this is the first time security officials have been charged. Dozens of people have already been convicted on terrorism charges and have received lengthy prison sentences, ranging from 12-20 years. The Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] government has come under fire for its handling of the May protests and the subsequent prosecutions. The US State Department and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have condemned a previous trial of dissidents as unfair and "based on evidence that isn't credible," calling for an independent investigation [JURIST report] into the trial. The latest proceedings will be closed trials. AFP has more.

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