Wednesday, May 2, 2007

US State Department Condemns Conduct of Umida's Trial

Press Statement
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 2, 2007

Conviction of Umida Niyazova

The United States is disturbed by the conduct of the May 1 trial and subsequent conviction of human rights activist Umida Niyazova on the charges of illegal border crossing, smuggling, and possessing or distributing materials posing a threat to public security and public order. We believe these charges to be politically-motivated.

The seven-year prison sentence, handed down after a hasty two-day trial which diplomatic observers and journalists were barred from attending, is a continuation of the Government of Uzbekistan's campaign of repression against human rights activists and other members of civil society.

The United States calls again upon Uzbekistan to uphold its commitments to internationally protected human rights. This and other cases serve to undermine Uzbekistan's recent dialogues with the European Union and other governments.

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