Uzbek court issues guilty verdict, sentences Andijan rebels on terror charges

[JURIST] A court in Uzbekistan [BBC profile, JURIST news archive] has found 15 men guilty of terrorism, attempted overthrow of the government, hostage taking and murder. The defendants, who all pleaded guilty, were accused of leading an uprising [JURIST report] in the town of Andijan in May. The uprising was sparked by the Uzbek government's controversial trial of 23 Muslim businessmen for extremism and resulted in approximately 200 deaths [JURIST report] at the hands of police. The 12 men from Uzbekistan and 3 from Kyrgyzstan received sentences of between 14 and 20 years. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] has expressed concern [JURIST report] over the fairness of the trial. Human rights groups have alleged that torture was used in extracting guilty pleas from the suspects, although the government has denied these charges [JURIST report]. BBC News has more. MosNews has local coverage.

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