Qorasuv rebels leader Bakhtijar Rakhimov is facing trial
Sources say that the trial of Bakhtijar Rakhimov, organizer of the events in the Uzbek town of Qorasuv (former Ilyichevsk) last May, began in one of the courts of the Tashkent region, yesterday. Fifty-eight witnesses (mostly young men) were summoned from Qorasuv.
Disturbances in Qorasuv, a small border town, began on May 14, 2005, right in the wake of the events in Andizhan. Demanding the opening of the border with Kyrgyzstan, residents of Qorasuv led by Rakhimov torched several buildings of the local law enforcement agencies and fiscal structures. They also rebuilt the bridge connecting the town with Qorasuv in Kyrgyzstan, where the largest wholesale market in Central Asia is. The bridge had been taken apart on the initiative of the Uzbek authorities in 2003.
Rakhimov who had claimed that he intended to establish an Islamic state and declare a war on government troops was arrested several days after the revolt. Units of the regular army were sent to Qorasuv to reclaim the town from insurgents.