Uzbekistan + 1 more

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the CFSP, expresses concern for the fate of Uzbek detainees in Kyrgyzstan


Brussels, 3 August 2005 - Javier SOLANA, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), has expressed his concern to the authorities in Kyrgzstan about the fate of the remaining 15 Uzbeks still being detained in the country. Last week more than 400 Uzbeks who had fled their country in the aftermath of the violence in Andijan were evacuated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Romania.

In a letter sent yesterday to President Bakiyev of the Kyrgyz Republic, Javier Solana thanked the Kyrgyz authorities for their efforts to ensure the safe transfer of those Uzbeks already evacuated, while expressing concern for those still in detention.

"I warmly welcome the fact that Kyrgyzstan has successfully cooperated with the UNHCR in finalising the resettlement of 439 Uzbek refugees to a third country. The strong political will and highly commendable sense of responsibility shown by the Kyrgyz authorities during this process deserves our respect.

The most urgent concerns about the well-being and safety of the Uzbek refugees have thus been alleviated. Nevertheless, 15 of them still remain in detention in Kyrgyzstan. With regard to this fact I trust that the Government of Kyrgyzstan will sustain the commitment to its international obligations, and in particular the UN Convention on Refugees and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The EU will continue to follow this issue closely."

The inauguration ceremony of President Bakiyev will take place on 14 August 2005. Mr Jan Kubiš, the European Union's newly appointed Special Representative to Central Asia, will attend this important event.