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Uzbek rights activist on trial for aiding terrorism during Andijan uprising

[JURIST] Saidjahan Zainabiddinov, an Uzbek human rights activist who witnessed an violent uprising in Andijan [HRW backgrounder] last May has been put on trial on charges of undermining the constitutional system and assisting terrorism for aiding journalists covering the uprising and telephoning foreign embassies. Zainabiddinov gave eyewitness accounts of the incident which took place 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 opened fire on the protestors, killing as many as 500 according to human rights group reports. The case against Zainabiddinov is one of many in a series of trials [JURIST report] against those participating in the uprising, with 115 reported to have been jailed so far with sentences ranging from 12-20 years in prison. The Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] government has been widely criticized for its handling of the May protests and subsequent prosecutions. BBC News has more.

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