UN rights expert doubts fairness of Uzbek rebel trial

UN rights expert doubts fairness of Uzbek rebel trial

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Leandro Despouy Tuesday expressed doubts about the fairness of Uzbekistan's ongoing trial of 15 alleged rebels [JURIST report] accused of precipitating the violent May uprising in the town of Andijan [JURIST news archive] that allegedly led to hundreds of casualties when government troops opened fire on protestors. Despouy has requested access to the defendants and to the courtroom, and noted that Uzbekistan has a history of torturing and mistreating detainees. The 15 men facing trial are among a group of 100 Uzbek citizens accused of participating in the alleged rebellion. If convicted, they will face the death penalty. Just last week in a report to the UN General Assembly, Despouy disparaged the fairness of the Iraqi Special Tribunal [JURIST report] trying former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Reuters has more.