Uzbekistan denounces refugee airlifts, pledges to end death penalty

Uzbekistan denounces refugee airlifts, pledges to end death penalty

[JURIST] Uzbekistan Monday angrily denounced a UN airlift to Romania of Uzbek refugees [JURIST report] who fled to Kyrgyzstan after a violent uprising [JURIST report] in May 2005 in the Uzbek city of Andijan. The refugees were moved amidst fears that Kyrgyzstan would forcibly return the refugees to Uzbekistan, where they might be tortured or face execution. Uzbekistan called the move "outrageous interference by foreign forces" [RFE report]. Uzbek President Islam Karimov also announced an end to the death penalty in the country in 2008, after saying earlier in the year that it would be eliminated within two years. Reuters has more.