Saturday, May 5, 2007


Saturday, 05 May 2007 – Germany made a strong statement on behalf of the European Union on 4 May on the sentences issued against Gulbahor Turayeva and Umida Niyazova, demanding that Uzbekistan immediately reviews the cases of the human rights activists and threatening that the sanctions against it will be extended.

The declaration issued by Germany, which is holding the EU presidency now, on 4 May says that the EU has learnt with great concern about the “harsh” sentences of six years’ imprisonment issued to Gulbahor Turayeva on 24 April and of seven years’ imprisonment to Umida Niyazova on 1 May.

The EU also regretted that international observers had not been allowed to observe the trial despite the requests they had made in advance.

“Reiterating its concern about the situation of human rights defenders in Uzbekistan the EU urges the Uzbek authorities to immediately review the two cases and to fully respect the principles of due and fair trial according to Uzbekistan's commitments to international human rights standards. The EU calls on the Uzbek authorities to grant unhindered access to both women by family and lawyers,” Germany said.

The declaration also says: “The two sentences send a worrying signal by Uzbekistan in the perspective of an EU decision on whether to renew specific sanctions adopted in 2005 in relation to the Andijan tragedy.”

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