In May 2005, Uzbekistan government security forces killed hundreds of civilians in Andijan, a city in eastern Uzbekistan on the edge of the Fergana Valley, during an uprising in which armed men freed hundreds of people from prison, including 23 local businessmen who had been imprisoned on charges of being Islamic extremists and “terrorists.” Uzbek official said 187 people were killed in a police crackdown on “terrorists.” Human rights groups say at least 300— and perhaps as many as a 1,000 — were killed. The vast majority of them appeared to have been unarmed civilians. Some compared the massacre to Tiananmen square.

According to eyewitness accounts government security forces on rooftops, in armored vehicles and behind barricades fired volley after volley of bullets into crowds of protesters and people milling around. According to a United Nations report the security forces have gave no warning and did not try nonviolent means to put down the protests. It was not clear which Uzbekistan security units were used in the massacre but it is widely believed that regular troops were involved.

According to Human Rights Watch: “On the night of May 12-13, 2005, gunmen attacked several government buildings in Andijan, broke into the city prison to release twenty-three local businessmen who were on trial for “religious extremism,” and in the early hours of May 13 began to mobilize people to attend a protest on the city’s Bobur Square. Gradually, thousands of unarmed protesters gathered on the square of their own will to vent grievances about poverty and government repression. As the day went on, Uzbek security forces indiscriminately shot into the crowd from armored personnel carriers (APCs) and sniper positions above the square.

Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov described the violence as an armed uprising, planned by Islamic militants linked to the Hizb ut-Tahrir movement. Witnesses, however, claim that Uzbekistani troops opened fire on protestors indiscriminately, leaving up to 500 dead. Andijan is near the border between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The BBC reported that approximately 6,000 people had fled to the border.

Trial and Prison Break Before the Andijan Massacre

The trigger for the massacre was the trial of 23 businessmen on charges of supporting Islamic extremism. The businessmen were widely respected and described by AP as “backbone of Andijan's middle class.” Locals said they were arrested on trumped up charges because the government felt threatened by their success. People began gathering in large numbers in the streets as the sentence from the trial was scheduled to be announced but the sentence never as announced.

In June 2004, the 23 businessmen, mostly from Andijan, were arrested and accused of belonging to the outlawed religious group Akramia. In February 2005 they went on trial on charges of anti-constitutional activity and organizing a criminal and extremist organization. All 23 pleaded not guilty. The charges carried sentences of 20 years.

According to These 23 businessmen had been arrested during the summer of 2004 and charged with “extremism, fundamentalism and separatism”. On 11-12 May a number of male relatives of the defendants were detained and questioned by the National Security Service (SNB). Another group of 13 Andijan businessmen had been arrested on similar charges in the beginning of 2005, but their trial had not yet started. [Source:]

Prison Break Before the Andijan Massacre

On the night of March 12th, a group of men attacked a local military unit, stole some arms and ammunition and stormed the Andijan prison, freeing hundreds of inmates, including the 23 businessmen, and took over several government buildings and held about 70 hostages. One of the freed businessmen, who later made it to Kyrgyzstan, told AP that around midnight on May 12 he heard about 10 shots and then someone opened the door to his prison cell with a crowbar allowing him and another 11 inmates in his cell to escape to the streets.

According to Violence erupted in Andijan, Uzbekistan on May 13, 2005 after days of peaceful protests over the imprisonment of 23 local business leaders accused of Islamic extremism. Gunmen in the city of Andijon attacked a police station, seized weapons and then stormed a prison, freeing members of a local Islamic organization accused by the government of extremism. [Source:]

According to Human Rights Watch: “The long-simmering tensions and protests over the case of the twenty-three businessmen finally boiled over into open violence on the night of May 12. Around midnight on May 12-13, a group of between fifty and one hundred men attacked a local police station and then stormed the Ministry of Defense’s barracks no. 34, seizing weapons and a military vehicle. The armed group then broke through the gates of the Andijan prison, where the twenty-three businessmen were held. They freed the businessmen and hundreds of inmates. The men then moved to take control of the hokimiat (provincial administration building) and took some law enforcement and government officials hostage. These men committed serious crimes, punishable under the Uzbek criminal code. But neither their crimes nor the peaceful protest that ensued can justify the government’s response.”

Protests Before the Massacre in Andijan

After protesters stormed the prison in Andijan, they seized local government offices. On May 13th thousands of demonstrators gathered around the governor’s office and filled the city's central square and listened to speeches, mostly complaining about poverty and unemployment. It is not clear what connection the protesters had with the armed gunmen who stormed the prison. Most are believed to have been ordinary citizens, including women and children, protesting poverty and unemployment.

According to Human Rights Watch: “Throughout the morning of May 13, the armed group mobilized its supporters using mobile phones, urging people to gather for a protest rally in Bobur Square, in front of the hokimiat. The crowd attracted other Andijan residents who hoped to voice their anger about depressed economic conditions and growing government repression. By noon the crowd numbered up to thousands of people, the overwhelming majority of whom were unarmed protesters.”

Tavakal Khojiyev, one of activists in the uprising, said the protesters' only demand was that the government allow free business activity. Other Andijan residents who joined the protest demanded better living conditions and complained about the stark poverty they've been forced to live in since the ex-Soviet republic became independent in 1991. [Source: Bagila Bukharbayeva in Kara Darya, Associated Press, May 18, 2005]

Saidjahon Zaynabitdinov, head of the local Appeal human rights advocacy group, said the protesters were not aiming to overthrow the government, but simply wanted to air their grievances. "The demonstrators did not have any claims to power. It was just an outpouring of people's feelings. People were driven out into the streets," he said. [Source: Lloyd Vries, Associated Press, May 16, 2005]

According to In the morning of May 13th, “the attackers then gathered in Andijon's main square. Thousands of local residents also gathered in the square. During the day more and more people joined the meeting, and by the afternoon there was a large crowd at Babur Square and in the surrounding streets. Microphones were installed in the middle of the square at the podium of the Babur monument. People who addressed the crowd spoke about their problems of unemployment, poverty, corruption of local authorities, and injustice linked to the recent arrests and trials. It appears that a major reason that kept people” lingered in the square despite being repeatedly fired at by Uzbek security forces was that they were waiting for President Islam Karimov to “come, listen to [them] and solve [their] problems.” [Source:]

Responding to accusations that the protesters were armed, Khojiyev said they had weapons only for self-defense and weren't planning to attack anybody. He said that when the crowd of about 5,000 protesters on Andijan's main square was told the news that President Islam Karimov was heading to the city, everybody cheered and clapped. "We believed until the very end that he would come," said Muqaddas Zhabborova, 44. "If he had come and talked to us, we wouldn't be here today," she said, crying. "We believed that nobody would fire at peaceful people," said Odina Karimova, 33. "We tried to complain once and this is what we got." [Source: Bagila Bukharbayeva in Kara Darya, Associated Press, May 18, 2005]

Fighting During the Massacre in Andijan

According to Human Rights Watch: “At various points during the day, troops in APCs and military trucks periodically drove by, firing randomly into the edge of the largely unarmed crowd. The government had also deployed snipers above the square, but neither the snipers nor the drive-by shooters appeared to be directing fire at persons who were posing any threat. Protesters and observers interviewed by Human Rights Watch all stated that there were almost no armed men on the square itself, and there is no evidence to suggest that the security forces made any attempts to focus their fire on legitimate targets such as the few gunmen in the square. Means of restoring order or dispersing the crowd short of lethal force do not appear to have been used.

The freed businessman who talked with AP said that in the morning troops opened fire, killing about a dozen people, and opened fire again around noon, killing another 10 to 15 people. He said he saw troops in a truck shoot and kill a 5-year-old boy. When his mother ran to help she was shot too.

According to At around 5:00 or 6:00pm on May 13th “there were an estimated 10,000-15,000 protesters on the square. At this point security forces launched a major offensive on the square, attacking simultaneously from different sides. Panic mounted in the crowd: people thought they would be shot, and they gave up hope of President Karimov’s appearing in person. Shooting erupted between government forces and the insurgents, and a large but undetermined number of individuals were killed.” [Source:]

On what happened in the evening Associated Press reported: “Andijan remained extremely tense after gunfire continued throughout the night. Residents said government troops were fighting militants in Bogishonol, an outlying district of the city, but the claim could not officially be confirmed. Alexei Volosevich, an Andijan correspondent for the Web site, said witnesses told him that militants fired at police from the attics of apartment buildings near the city prison and that police eventually killed the assailants. There was no word about police casualties. Troops and armored personnel carriers formed a tight circle around the city center, where the local administration building - at the center of the violence - was on fire. Piles of sandbags used as defenses in the fighting dotted the streets. Men were digging what appeared to be a large common grave at a local cemetery under the watch of many Uzbek security service agents. "It is sheer genocide against the people," Zaynabitdinov told Associated Press Television News. "The people now are more afraid of government troops than of any so-called militants." [Source: Lloyd Vries, Associated Press, May 16, 2005]

Massive Killing During the Massacre in Andijan

According to Human Rights Watch:“Towards the evening” of May 13th “government troops blocked off the square and then, without warning, opened fire, killing and wounding unarmed civilians. People fled the square in several groups, the first group using as a human shield numerous hostages seized earlier in the day. As they tried to escape, hundreds of people were shot by snipers or mowed down by troops firing from APCs. After the peak of the carnage, government forces swept through the area and executed some of the wounded where they lay...The scale of the killing was so extensive, and its nature was so indiscriminate and disproportionate, that it can best be described as a massacre.”

The businessman who talked with AP said by the late afternoon, the troops had encircled the square where people had gathered and many were killed then as they ran for the lives down the Andijan’s main avenue. Many were said to have been killed outside School No. 15. "There were three military positions there: when they fired at us at the first one, only a few people died; at the next one another 10-15 died, and at the third position they had armored personnel carriers and snipers sitting in trees - lots of us died there,” he said.

Gulbakhor Turayeva, a former doctor turned human rights activist, said that she saw about 500 bodies lying in a school yard at School No. 15 in Andijan. “I saw bodies on the ground behind the fence, and I counted 400 of them,” she said in a news conference in Tashkent. “There were more just round the corner. I would estimate their number at around 100, but the guards drove me away before I could count.” She said another activist, whom she could not name, saw another 50 bodies, mostly women and children, kept in a college building near the school. Associated Press reported: The doctoralso said about 2,000 people were wounded. The doctor is widely regarded as knowledgeable about local affairs.”

Kabuljon Parpiyev lead a crowd that the occupied the government headquarters in Andijan. He told the Times of London that he was on the telephone with the Uzbekistan Interior Minister, who warned of a massacre just minutes before the shooting began. He said authorities called him three times but refused to negotiate. He said the Interior Minister told him, “We don’t care of 200, 300 or 400 people die—we have the force. “ Karimov's government has blamed the unrest on "terrorists" and denied that troops fired on civilians.

Uzbekistan's prosecutor general, Rashid Kadyrov, said 32 troops and 137 others, most of them "terrorists," including foreign fighters, were killed in Andijan. He said that victims included hostages and civilians killed by militants, but didn't give any figures. The unregistered opposition Free Peasants party said it had documented 745 deaths in Andijan and nearby Pakhtabad by talking to relatives of the missing. [Source: Bagila Bukharbayeva in Kara Darya, Associated Press, May 18, 2005]

Eyewitness Accounts by Andijan Survivors

An AP reporter and photographer saw troops opening fire on protesters in Andijan. He saw trucks with troops drive by the square and open fire into the crowd after some protesters threw stones at them. Some protesters were armed. [Source: Bagila Bukharbayeva in Kara Darya, Associated Press, May 18, 2005 <^>]

According to Associated Press: Soldiers started to move in with trucks and armored personnel carriers, said Tojiba Mukhtarova, 38. "They fired nonstop. We waved in the air with white scarves, but they continued to shoot at us," sat Mukhtarova, sitting in a tent in a refugee camp in Kyrgyzstan among other women, torn by thoughts of the five children she left in her home city of Andijan. <^>

“Others said that when the troops started shooting, police told them they would be given a corridor to leave the square. But when people entered the corridor shouting "Freedom!" the troops opened fire. "We spread ourselves on the ground when they fired, then got up and ran. The dead stayed behind. They fired again, we hit the ground again, and then walked on, leaving more dead behind," said Khojiyev. <^>

Human rights activist Lutfullo Shamsuddinov told Human Rights Watch: "There was screaming, the women especially were crying, 'Don't shoot, don't shoot!' And the shooting continued for about half an hour...And then it was clear, even clear to the soldiers themselves, that there was no return fire."

In the border town of Teshiktosh, eight government soldiers and three civilians were reported to have been killed as hundreds of Uzbeks fled into Kyrgyzstan. “When they reached the Kyrgyz border after an eight- or nine-hour walk, they said they ran into a police ambush. Six of the fleeing protesters were killed, the refugees said. "We raised our hands, shouted that we are unarmed, but they kept firing," said Khabibullo Rakhimberdiyev. <^>

Blame for the Massacre in Andijan

The Uzbekistan government claims it did not kill unarmed civilians. It says the people that were killed were armed Islamists and terrorists trying to overthrow the government. The protestors said they were doing no such things. They were unarmed and simply wanted the government to remove its heavy hand and allow them to pursue their economic and religious interests. One survivor told the Washington Post, “had the same situation occurred in Kyrgyzstan and no one was killed.”

The government blamed the uprising on Akram Yuldashev, a middle-aged mathematics teacher who spent two year writing a religious self-help pamphlet called The Path to Faith that encouraged readers to put spiritual matters ahead of material concerns and encouraged businessmen in the Andijan area to try and use their money and influence to create a utopian community based in Islamic principals. In 1998, Yuldashev was arrested for heroin possession after the heroin was allegedly planted on him. After the terrorist bombing in Tashkent in 1999 he was sentence to 17 years in jail on terrorism charges and has hardly been seen since.

The 23 jailed businessmen were accused of being members of the Akramia religious group founded by Yuldashev. They had set up a community of businesses—including a hair dresser, cafeteria, bakery and shoe factory—that operated under principals outlined by Yuldashev, offered workers salaries and pensions ten times higher than the government’s and donated much of its profits to charity. Money from their charity was used to sponsor sports teams and pay for medical treatment for those who couldn’t go afford it. The businessmen also paid for weddings, built houses, and provided food for the elderly and poor during Muslim holidays.

Participants of the Massacre in Andijan

It is not clear who the armed gunmen that freed the prisoners were and what ties that had to Yuldashev or the other imprisoned businessmen. The militants that raided the prison did not demand an Islamic state or sharia but they is call for Yuldashev’s release. Yuldashev followers have said they had no idea who the attackers were.

The 23 businessmen were accused of having contacts with the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir said the group was not involved in the uprising. They told the Washington Post they had been approached by members of Uzbekistan’s secret police who asked the group to mount an uprising but the members said they refused because “such things are a sin.” The Karimov regime viewed any religious group that operated without official authorization as a threat.

Kabuljon Parpiyev, one of the protest leaders, managed to escape to Kyrgyzstan after hiding out in Andijan for a week. On the leaders of the protests, he told the Times of London, “Yes, we are all religious, but not extremists or radical Islamists or anything similar. This is Karimov’s invention to distract the world community’s attention from the Andijan events, to hide the roots.”

Parpiyev was involved with Akramia and the had contacts with the 23 businessmen. He said that on May 12th he and some of his associates began organizing protests when the police began engaging in mass arrests. Parpiyev insisted that he was not involved in the raid on the jail and said he did not know who was. Parpiyev did say that he joined the armed men on May 13th as they took over the local government headquarters.

Islamists Take Over a Town Near Andijan

In Korasuv, a town of 20,000 inhabitants on Kyrgyz order about 30 kilometers from Andijan, protesters set fire to government buildings, beat up the mayor, torched cars and rebuilt a bridge to a thriving market in Kyrgyzstan that had been key to the town’s economic survival and was torn down by the government in 2003. The protestors claimed the town as theirs. Their main beef was the closure of the bridge which was a lifeline for cheap imported goods from China. The bridge had been torn down to help Uzbek businesses.

The rebellion was led by Bakhtiyor Rakhimov, a local farmer turned rebel leader. Al Jazeera reported that after the rebels took over Korasuv, Rakhimov's men, uniformly clad in traditional V-necked white shirts and embroidered skull cups, could be seen around the town, although no weapons were visible. "We will be building an Islamic state here in accordance with the Quran," Rakhimov said. "People are tired of slavery...All decisions will be taken by people at a mosque. There will be rule of Sharia law. Thieves and other criminals will be tried by the people themselves." Rakhimov said he and his supporters did not belong to any Islamic organisation. "We are just people," he said. "We just follow the Quran." [Source:Al Jazeera, Agencies, May 18, 2005]

Ikbol Mirsaitov, a Kyrgyz expert on Islam told Al Jazeera he thought that some of the activists may have been people who had escaped the prison in Andijan, because they had very short beards - indicating they had grown them just in the past few days. Sadyk Kamalitdin, another Kyrgyz expert on Islam, said the group probably included some Hizb-ut-Tahrir members, protesters who had fled Andijan, and rank-and-file Muslims, and their plans for an Islamic state would remain 'a dream".

The government responded by sending in troops that arrested Rakhimov and 15 members of his family, including his 14-year-old son. Rakhimov was said by some to have had 5,000 followers who said they were ready to fight government forces. Rakhimov had said: "Soldiers and police are also sons of this people. We don't have weapons, but if they come and attack us we will fight even with knives."

The recapture of Korasuv bought an end the resistance against the government. Helicopter gun ships circled and troops took the town with little resistance, the troops showed restraint as they took the town, which some viewed as the being sensitive to criticism raised after the Andijan massacre. There were no reports on any casualties.

Refugees Flee to Kyrgyzstan After the Massacre in Andijan

The night after the massacre thousands of Uzbeks fled across the border to Kyrgyzstan. Most were stopped at the border. Only a few hundred managed to get into Kyrgyzstan. One of them told the Washington Post, “We ran away from the death. We came here hoping people will protect us.” Around 400 of them found protection at a United-Nations-sponsored refugee camp. Among them were five of the 23 businessmen who had been sprung from jail.

Associated Press reported: “Leaving the dead behind, they say they ran for their lives and were fired on again upon reaching the Kyrgyz border after an all-night trek. The survivors, including 96 women and 21 children, are living in 10 crowded tents provided by Kyrgyz authorities just a couple hundred yards from the Uzbek border, in the green hills on the bank of the Kara Darya River. The refugees said they were ready to return to Uzbekistan, but not until Karimovis tried for the violence. [Source: Bagila Bukharbayeva in Kara Darya, Associated Press, May 18, 2005]

The presence of the refugees in Kyrgyzstan set off an international incident. The Uzbekistan government had demanded that the refugees be returned. Human rights and Western governments argued against making that, saying the refugees might be tortured if they were returned. China and Russia sided with Uzbekistan, saying that it had the right to determine it own affairs. They put pressure on Kyrgyzstan to turn the refugees over.

There were reports of Uzbek security agents in Kyrgyzstan offering large amounts of money for the capture of Uzbeks who had fled to Kyrgyzstan. Four Uzbeks were turned over to the Uzbekistan government. There were suggestions that they had been turned over by Kyrgyz police for $25,000. A total of 439 Uzbek refugees who fled to Kyrgyzstan as refugees were airlifted to Romania from where there were settled in other countries.

Impact of the Massacre in Andijan

Western governments and organizations urged Uzbekistan to allow an international investigation of the 2005 uprising. But the Uzbekistan government refused. There were calls by some for sanctions and travel bans on senior Uzbekistan officials and sanctions on the sale of Uzbekistan cotton. Some asked why similar sanctions had been placed on Zimbabwe and Belarus but not Uzbekistan which had outright killed its citizens.

Relations between Uzbekistan and the United States plummeted after the Andijan massacre. The United States military initially objected to an international investigation of the incident out of fear of losing its access to military bases in Uzbekistan but in the end decided to put human rights ahead of military concerns and supported an investigation and strongly condemned the massacre. Washington’s stand on the issue is believed to have been one of the primary reasons for the ousting of American forces later from the military base in southern Uzbekistan.

Both Russia and China came to Uzbekistan’s defense. China welcomed Karimov on a state visit less than two weeks after the massacre took place. Moscow condemned Muslim extremists for the deaths not the Uzbekistan government. Putin visited Uzbekistan and was treated like an honored guest and Russia and Uzbekistan announced they going to conduct joint military exercises, .

Trials and a Lack of Investigation of the Andijan Massacre

Details of exactly what happened were sketchy. The foreign press was largely prohibited from reporting on the incident and no international investigations were conducted. The Government of Uzbekistan rejected European and U.S. calls for an independent international investigation. The government has not held anyone publicly accountable for the civilian casualties.

A few days after the massacre, Al Jazeera reported: “Uzbek officials took foreign diplomats and journalists on a lightning-quick tour of Andijan on Wednesday, showing them a prison and the local administration building and arranging meetings with local officials, as the top UN human-rights official called for an independent investigation. The people of Andijan were kept blocks away from the delegation, leaving little chance for an objective assessment. "I consider that in the coming two-three years, an Islamic revolution and the Islamisation of Uzbekistan is unavoidable. Of course this will be accompanied by bloodshed" "We blocked a few roads for your security," Interior Minister Zakir Almatov told the delegation as it was taken along streets lined with cordons of troops and police. [Source:Al Jazeera, Agencies, May 18, 2005 <<<]

“Inside the gutted administration building, a local official pointed at signs of looting and described how insurgents had allegedly executed local officials whom they took hostage and used civilians as a shield as they tried to flee. Almatov ignored a reporter's request to visit to a school where a prominent local doctor had said 500 bodies were stored following the violence. After three hours in Andijan, the delegation was flown back to the capital, Tashkent. Some diplomats complained the trip was too short and there was no opportunity to speak to Andijan residents. "I think we need to be realistic about how much can be achieved in a whistle-stop tour of ambassadors in a large delegation format over such a short period," British Ambassador David Moran said.

In September 2005, 15 men were arrested and put on trial for leading the uprising. One of the defendants confessed that he did the military planning for the uprising. “I confess and I beg forgiveness from all the parents whose children were killed.” He said that he had received funding from abroad but did not name any countries or give any details. Torture is widely used to obtain confessions in Uzbekistan.

In trials in November and December 2005, almost 200 people were given prison sentences ranging from 10 to 18 years for their involvement in the Andijan protests. Human rights groups said the trials were unfair.

Andijan Massacre: A Decade Later

Human Rights Watch said in 2015: “For nearly a decade, the Uzbek government has refused an independent investigation into the 2005 government massacre in Andijan. Authorities persecute anyone suspected of having witnessed the atrocities or who attempts to speak about them publicly. In 2014, Human Rights Watch confirmed that authorities in 2012 arbitrarily extended by 8 years the 10-year prison sentence of Dilorom Abdukodirova, an eyewitness to the massacre. After fleeing to Kyrgyzstan in 2005, she settled in Australia. She was immediately arrested and imprisoned on her return in 2010, despite assurances she would not face prosecution. [Source: “World Report 2015: Uzbekistan” Human Rights Watch]

Associated Press reported: “The West has largely forgotten the events in Andijan. But rights activists say authorities in Uzbekistan to this day continue to hound anybody even loosely involved in the demonstrations. Many were jailed or fled overseas, so police have since turned their attention to relatives.” Steve Swerdlow of Human Rights Watch said family members are regularly made to write confession-style letters referring to their implicated loved-ones as enemies of the state. "In many of these cases," he said, "the same people have been writing the same explanatory notes for the last 10 years." [Source: Efrem Lukatsky Associated Press, May 13, 2015]

That pressure is twinned with a demonization campaign. A state-sanctioned movie released in cinemas across Uzbekistan this year, titled Sotqin, or Traitor, presents a heavily fictionalized recreation of Andijan. It depicts the unrest as the handiwork of ruthless foreign-funded Islamists bent on seizing power. In the climax, special forces launch a surgical operation to wipe out the militants, although it is made clear that some ruthless elements manage to get away all the same. The message of the blood-spattered cautionary tale: The threat is still present.

With little prospect of bringing the Uzbek authorities to heed back home, Andijan survivors have been forced to pursue justice elsewhere. One such man, Husanboy Ruziyev, has filed a petition before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, accusing police and security in Uzbekistan of torturing him and failing to properly investigate the violence in 2005. Ruziyev said in his petition that he was among the crowds targeted by government troops on May 13, 2005. Ruziyev, who now lives in the Netherlands, is being represented by the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative and Fiery Hearts Club, a rights group founded in the Fergana Valley region, where Andijan is located. "In terms of why it's important to bring such cases, I think it comes down to accountability," said Jeff Goldstein, an Open Society policy analyst.

Almost a decade following the violent unrest and deadly crackdown in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan, dozens of Uzbeks are still seeking asylum in neighboring Kyrgyzstan. Although Kyrgyz authorities say they are processing the claims for asylum, many Uzbeks still fear extradition back to their home country, where they say they will be prosecuted. [Source: Timur Toktonaliev,, December 11, 2014]

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Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, U.S. government, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated April 2016

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