[JURIST] The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] Friday denounced [press release] the deportation of four Uzbek men from Kyrgyzstan and appealed to the Kyrgyz government to cease further deportation of asylum seekers until procedures determine if they are refugees according to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 [PDF text]. The four men have been determined "criminals" by the Uzbek government but the spokesperson noted that this did not justify their return to Uzbekistan without close review of the cases. Another 12 men remain under arrest in the town of Jalalabad near the Uzbekistan border and also face possible deportation. UNHCR said the four deported men had fled the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan against their will after violence broke out on May 13, leading to the apparent deaths of hundreds of protestors at the hands of Uzbek government troops. Reuters has more.
In related news, Uzbekistan said Friday that it will hold an open trial of those responsible for the Andijan violence, which it has characterized as a "revolt." Despite receiving intense international criticism over the casualties [JURIST report] resulting from government suppression of the protests, it nonetheless continues to dismiss demands [JURIST report] for an international inquiry. Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has accused the Uzbek government of attempting to cover-up [press release] details of a "massacre". Reuters has more.