Lack of Justice Could Fuel New Violence in Kyrgyzstan
8 June 2011
(…) Failure to deliver justice for the killing, rape and torture of civilians could lead to further clashes, Amnesty International warned ahead of the first anniversary of the violence that shook southern parts of Kyrgyzstan.
Four days of violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the Osh and Jalal-Abad areas on 10-14 June 2010 left about 470 people dead, thousands injured and hundreds of thousands displaced.
According to local observers, 74 per cent of those killed were Uzbek and 25 per cent Kyrgyz.
One year on, Amnesty International's briefing, Still waiting for justice, calls on the Kyrgyzstani authorities to establish the truth about what happened and provide justice for the thousands of victims and their families. (…)
(…) In the aftermath of the violence, Kyrgyzstani security forces used excessive force in their search operations and tortured or ill-treated detainees, Amnesty International's report found.
Ethnic Uzbeks accounted for 75 per cent of the casualties and sustained 90 per cent of property losses. However, according to official figures, of the 271 people who had been taken into custody in relation to the June violence, 230 were ethnic Uzbek and only 29 ethnic Kyrgyz.
Following unfair trials, during which allegations of forced confessions were not investigated, defence witnesses were not interviewed and lawyers were threatened and physically attacked, courts have handed down at least 27 life sentences, all of which to ethnic Uzbeks. (…)
(…)The International Commission of Inquiry into the violence found there was strong evidence of widespread, systematic and coordinated offences against ethnic Uzbeks that would amount to crimes against humanity if proven in court.
The subsequent investigations and prosecutions were flawed and ethnically biased, the International Commission’s May 2011 report found. It concluded that torture of detainees in connection with the violence had been "almost universal".
"The Kyrgyzstani authorities must implement its recommendations promptly," said Nicola Duckworth.
"They must ensure that attacks, in the course of which Uzbek residents were beaten, killed and raped over several days, are investigated and prosecuted in accordance with international law." (…)
See full press release.