Co-Chairs Commemorate 10th Anniversary of the Andijan Massacre in Uzbekistan
Today we are called upon to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Andijan massacre.
On May 13, 2005, in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan, Uzbek government forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators assembled to protest government corruption, repression, poverty, and official injustice. Hundreds of men, women, and children were killed. To this day, the government of Uzbekistan has denied all responsibility for the killings and has blocked calls for an independent investigation.
Over the last decade, according to credible human rights observers, the government of Uzbekistan has continued to repress civil society. Human rights activists, journalists, religious believers, artists and others perceived to be government critics are routinely detained and held on politically motivated charges. Many have been subjected to torture and deprived of due process protections. The government of Uzbekistan severely curtails freedom of religion, and has for years refused to implement recommendations from the UN and the international community regarding violations of freedom of expression, association and other fundamental rights.
Today we offer our condolences to the families of the victims of the Andijan massacre. We express our support and solidarity with those who have been imprisoned and tortured over the last decade -- activists who have put their freedom and lives at risk to promote human rights and rule of law in Uzbekistan. We urge the Uzbek government to allow an independent investigation into the massacre, and to hold the perpetrators accountable. Uzbekistan should end torture, unconditionally release all political prisoners, and halt its repression of civil society and independent media.
We ask the international community to join us in remembering the Andijan massacre, and in pressing the Uzbek government to make genuine reforms to prevent any recurrence of another tragedy like that of Andijan.