UN, US call Uzbek revolt trial unfair, Europe imposes arms embargo

[JURIST] The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the US Department of State made statements Monday condemning the non-appealable conviction [UNHCHR press release] of fifteen Uzbek men who were sentenced to 14-20 years in prison [JURIST report] for their involvement in the bloody uprisings in Andijan in May [HRW backgrounder]. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said, "These convictions are based on evidence that isn't credible and a trial that isn't fair," and called for an independent investigation [press briefing transcript]. Ereli also called on Uzbekistan to "act consistent with international standards." High Commissioner Louise Arbour [official profile] said, "There are doubts about the adequacy of the defense, and it appears that little evidence was presented during the trial, apart from confessions." Uzbekistan has been accused of using torture to extract guilty pleas from the 15 defendants, but the government has denied those charges [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

Also in Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive], the European Union [official website] has issued an embargo on the export of arms, military equipment and other equipment that might be used for "internal repression." The embargo is in response to the country's failure to allow an independent investigation into the Andijan uprising and follows a decision by the EU to impose sanctions [JURIST report] last month. Bloomberg has more.

 

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