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UN investigator says torture continues in Uzbekistan

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC] has said that Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] authorities continue to use torture [JURIST news archive], particularly against those who oppose the government, noting that he has evidence of systematic torture by police and security forces in the country. Nowak also criticized Germany for failing to arrest former Uzbek Interior Minister Zakir Almatov while he was seeking medical treatment there.

Almatov is suspected of using torture during his tenure, and he oversaw the violent crackdown in Andijan [HRW backgrounder], in which government forces fired on demonstrators and killed as many as 500 protesters. Nowak said that as a party to the UN Convention against Torture [text], Germany is required to detain torture suspects. Nowak has previously called for Almatov's prosecution by German authorities [UN news release; JURIST report]. Radio Free Europe has more.

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