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Uzbek court sentences police, soldiers, doctors for negligence in Andijan uprising

[JURIST] The Supreme Court [official backgrounder] of Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] Wednesday sentenced 11 policemen, soldiers, and prison doctors [JURIST report] to jail terms ranging from 1.5 to 11 years for their complicity in the May uprising in Andijan [JURIST news archive; HRW backgrounder] when thousands of protesters gathered after rebels stormed a prison [JURIST report] and freed a group of businessmen on trial for alleged Islamic extremism. Government troops open fire on the protestors, killing as many as 500 according to human rights group reports. The policemen and soldiers sentenced Wednesday were convicted of neglecting their duties by allowing rebels to access government buildings and weapons during the uprising. The doctors were convicted of complicity for passing communications through the prison. The court issued a statement saying, "As a result of their negligence, terrorists seized a military unit, prison and government buildings, and released hundreds of criminals." The UN and rights groups have criticized Uzbekistan [JURIST report] and the government of President Islam Karimov [BBC profile] for conducting closed-door trials, in which 151 people have been convicted [JURIST report], some with evidence believed to have been gathered by torture. AP has more.

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