24 march 2017

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan parliamentary commission completed investigation of the events in Andijan

30.10.2006 16:07 msk

Ferghana.Ru

Ferghana Valley Uzbekistan

Unofficial sources imply that the parliamentary commission completed investigation of the events in Andijan in May 2005 and forwarded its findings and conclusions to the parliament. All of that was done in absolute secrecy. Not a single state official, lawmaker, or media outlet so much as mentioned the matter.

The parliamentary commission was established when the international community demanded an independent investigation of the outrage in Andijan. President Islam Karimov wouldn't hear of it. Instead, he ordered an internal investigation by a special parliamentary panel comprising representatives of five tame political parties. Foreign diplomats were invited to join the monitoring team that was regularly updated on interim results of the investigation while the materials as such were withheld from it. Independent observers maintain that the parliamentary commission was never after the truth. It was put together in order to confirm the official hypothesis of what had happened in Andijan and therefore validate the actions of the authorities. The commission was supposed to verify that the government troops had only fired at armed rebels and not at noncombatants as survivors, human rights activists, and journalists claimed they had.

When the investigation was completed, Veritas (a group of Uzbek human rights activists) urged the parliament to immediately publish the conclusions in the media and make the report itself available to general public.

Here is an excerpt from the statement. "It was interesting to observe changes in the official rhetoric on the May 2005 events in Andijan. The changes were particularly noticeable in President Islam Karimov's address to the latest meeting of the Andijani Kengash [council] of People's Deputies on October 13. It was probably for the first time that Karimov admitted (indirectly) that foreign observers had been correct to attribute the protest action in Andijan to difficult socioeconomic situation in the region. The president admitted as well that the youth in the Ferghana Valley had thoroughly limited opportunities of self-fulfillment and self-realization, and that these limitations had a negative effect on its disposition and attracted it to religious organizations like Hizb-ut-Takhrir and Akromija."

Veritas takes Karimov's words as proof that official Tashkent is trying to somewhat alleviate its attitude towards what happened in Andijan last year. On October 13, Karimov sacked Andijan Governor Saidullo Begaliyev claiming that he had provoked the May 2005 protests. As a matter of fact, there were even the reports that criminal charges were pressed against Begaliyev's predecessor Kobiljon Obidov who had greatly contributed to deterioration of the situation in the region and to dissatisfaction of the local population.

Veritas is convinced nevertheless that "several hokims and other officials as scapegoats" cannot do away with what has caused mass discontent in the Ferghana Valley. The authorities should concentrate on a solution to the numerous socioeconomic problems.

Completion of the parliamentary investigation rejuvenates the hope that the list of victims of the May 13-14 massacre will be published one day. Pro-government media outlets already quoted the Prosecutor General's Office as saying that the list was part of materials of the criminal investigation and therefore couldn't be released pending completion of the investigation and trials. Now that the investigation is over, there is a hope that the list will be made available to general public - even 1.5 years after the tragedy.








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