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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Andijan Massacre Ten Years Later: The Human Rights Situation in Uzbekistan

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 11:30am
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


As we mark the tenth anniversary of the Andijan massacre in Uzbekistan, please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the human rights situation in Uzbekistan.

On May 13, 2005, in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan, Uzbek government forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators protesting against government corruption, repression, poverty and official injustice. Hundreds of unarmed men, women, and children were killed as a result of the indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks.

Ten years later, Uzbekistan's government denies all responsibility for the killings and continues to block calls for an independent investigation. President Islam Karimov, entering his 26th year in power, heads an authoritarian regime that represses civil society and violates fundamental rights. Human rights activists, journalists, religious believers, and other perceived critics of the government are routinely detained and held on politically motivated charges. Many have been subjected to torture and deprived of due process protections. The Uzbek government severely curtails freedom of religion, and has for years refused to implement recommendations from the UN and the international community for reforms that would end violations of freedom of expression, association, and other fundamental rights.

Please join us for this important briefing to examine the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. As the United States looks to reconfigure its foreign policy towards Uzbekistan, panelists will discuss policy tools and provide recommendations on how the United States can contribute to improve human rights in the country.

For any questions, please contact Soo Choi (for Rep. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or or Carson Middleton (for Rep. Pitts) at 202-225-2411 or

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC
    Written remarks
  • Rep. Joseph R.Pitts, Co-Chair, TLHRC


  • Steve Swerdlow, Central Asia Researcher, Human Rights Watch
  • Kayum Ortikov, Torture survivor from Uzbekistan, former security guard at British Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • Mohira Ortikova, Human rights defender, Wife of Kayum Ortikov
  • T. Kumar, International Advocacy Director, Amnesty International USA
  • Catherine Cosman, Senior Policy Analyst, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
    Written statement


  • Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Congressional Research Service


114th Congress