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May 23, 2005
PRESS-RELEASE ON THE SITUATION IN ANDIJAN
THE EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



PRESS-RELEASE 23 May, 2005



ON THE SITUATION IN ANDIJAN

1. On May 23, 2005 the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan (Parliament) adopted a resolution on the creation of Independent Parliamentary Commission for the investigation of the events in Andijan. Representatives of various factions of political parties as well as senators were included in the Commission. The aims of the Commission is to conduct thorough and comprehensive analysis of reasons and circumstances that led to tragic events on May 13, 2005. The Commission was tasked with conducting a comprehensive analysis of the activities of the Government and law enforcement agencies and to assess them from a legal point.

2. At the same time available information indicates that the events in Andijan represent a planned and well-prepared terrorist act organized by international radical-extremist groups, first and foremost, by ?Hizb ut-Tahrir?.

3. The character and intent of the events in Andijan unequivocally confirm that they are the results of subversive activity of extremist groups and certain external powers:

-the use of arms and the sites of the attack; -criminals? release from the prison; -hostage-taking and the seizure of the local administration?s building; -nature of the attackers? demands (release of inmates convicted for terrorist acts).

4. The tactics, methods and hidden means of carrying out the armed attack in Andijan resemble activities of notorious terrorist groups in the Middle East, South and South-East Asia.

5. Attackers used civilians as a human shield. The organizers of the terrorist act in Andijan placed their armed fighters in the midst of an emotionally charged crowd made up of elderly citizens, women and children - a tactic employed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

6. With more than 300 automatic weapons attackers first opened fire from behind the human shield. Thirty-seven representatives of law enforcement agencies died and dozens were injured. This refutes any assertions about so called ?peaceful act? which involved civilians? participation.

7. The aims of the Andijan events were to destabilize the situation in the Ferghana Region and Central Asia as a whole. The ultimate task ? to create so called Caliphate and destroy the secular state. A ?caliphate? symbol was painted on May 17, 2005 by a group of extremists on the building of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London, where the headquarters of ?Hizb ut-Tahrir? is located.

8. The events in Andijan have once again confirm that one of the main aims of international extremist and terrorist centers ? to impose a regressive ideology and the way of life which is alien to the history, mentality and traditions of the people of the region.

9. The realization of strategic plans by international extremist and terrorist structures would have long-term consequences for international and regional security. The center of Eurasia could give rise to a more dangerous source of terrorism, narcotics trafficking and other menaces to the civilized world, than in Afghanistan and Iraq.

10. Andijan and the territories in its vicinity are neither zones of disaster nor political genocide. The border with Kyrgyzstan was opened by the Uzbek authorities themselves. The Kyrgyz border guards took 74 automatic rifles from so called ?refugees? and handed them over to the Uzbek authorities. The Kyrgyz border guards also identified among ?refugees? dozens of criminals released from the Andijan?s prison. Out of 500 ?refugees? more than 400 were males who took part in unlawful activities.

11. An initiative calling for an international investigation does not conform with the requirements of established political and international-legal practice. Such investigations are conducted: a) at the invitation of the state authorities, when they deem it necessary; b) in case of inability of the authorities or the collapse of the state. Obviously, the second prerequisite can not be applied to Uzbekistan. The first prerequisite is the sovereign right of Uzbek State and is not deemed necessary at this time. Currently law enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan are actively conducting their own investigation.


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