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Uzbekistan

Yearbook 2006

Uzbekistan. According to CountryAAH, regime critic Nadira Khidojatova from the new opposition group Uzbekistan's Sunshine Coalition at the beginning of the year was charged with financial crimes. However, she had been arrested since she criticized the government's bloody blow to the demonstrations in the city of Andizhan the year before. According to eyewitnesses, several hundred people were killed by security forces.

2006 Uzbekistan

The leader of Uzbekistan's Sunshine Coalition, Sanjar Umarov, was also brought to justice. He had been arrested accused of, among other things, money laundering and other financial crimes, but according to supporters, the charges were politically motivated.

The Sunshine Coalition was largely the only opposition group to openly criticize the events in Andizan, as other groups were already crushed by the authorities. In a letter to Parliament, Umarov had also demanded market economy reforms. Both Khidojatova and Umarov had been kept in isolation, and when a lawyer visited Umarov he found the opposition leader naked and confused. According to supporters, he had been detained. Khidojatova was sentenced to ten years in prison and Umarov to fourteen years. According to the court, Umarov's sentence would be reduced to just over ten years. He was also fined just over eight million dollars. According to the judgment, he was found guilty of having led a criminal group, which was devoted to, among other things, money laundering and tax evasion. Over 150 people had been convicted of various crimes in connection with the Andizyan uprising at that time.

Eight young men who stood trial in March in Tashkent testified in court that they had been tortured to confess. They were accused of Muslim extremism, which they rejected.

At the one-year memorial in May of the Andizyan massacre, Uzbekistan was called on by the United States to have an international commission investigate the incident.

In November, the EU extended the sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan following the Andizyan massacre. At the same time, it was decided to resume low-level talks with Uzbekistan. President Islam Karimov was reported to have admitted that there were deficiencies in the local government in Andizhan and that the leaders there neglected the needs of people.

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