[JURIST] Saidjahan Zainabiddinov, an Uzbek human rights activist who witnessed an violent uprising in Andijan [HRW backgrounder] last May has been put on trial on charges of undermining the constitutional system and assisting terrorism for aiding journalists covering the uprising and telephoning foreign embassies. Zainabiddinov gave eyewitness accounts of the incident which took place when thousands of protesters gathered after rebels stormed a prison [JURIST report] and freed a group of businessmen on trial for alleged Islamic extremism. Government troops opened fire on the protestors, killing as many as 500 according to human rights group reports. The case against Zainabiddinov is one of many in a series of trials [JURIST report] against those participating in the uprising, with 115 reported to have been jailed so far with sentences ranging from 12-20 years in prison. The Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] government has been widely criticized for its handling of the May protests and subsequent prosecutions. BBC News has more.
Previously in JURIST'S Paper Chase...
- Uzbek court sentences police, soldiers, doctors for negligence in Andijan uprising
- UN rights chief cautions Uzbek government on latest Andijan trials
- Uzbek courts sentence 42 more for Andijan uprising
- UN torture expert urges prosecution of Uzbek minister in Andijan uprising
- Uzbek interior minister faces torture, crimes against humanity charges