Situation in Uzbekistan - MEPs condemn "excessive and brutal force"

Joint motion for a resolution on Uzbekistan

Doc.: B6-0370/2005, B6-0371/2005, B6-0372/2005, B6-0373/2005, B6-0374/2005, B6-0377/2005

Vote: 09.06.2005

In adopting a joint resolution on Uzbekistan, MEPs strongly condemn the excessive, brutal and indiscriminate use of force by the Uzbek security forces and urges the Uzbek authorities to bring those responsible for the massacre in Andijan to trial. The House deeply regrets the loss of hundreds of lives and expresses its profound sympathy with the people who have suffered as a consequence of the violence used by Uzbekistan's security forces. Parliament urges the Uzbek authorities to respond immediately to the international calls for an independent international inquiry into the events and to take the necessary steps to make this investigation possible. The House stresses that the Uzbek government, by continuing to refuse an international inquiry, is failing to meet even its most basic obligations under the PCA's human rights and democracy clause. MEPs call on the Council and the Commission to channel EU aid and cooperation programmes to Uzbekistan through independent NGOs, to reinforce TACIS-democracy programmes and to suspend direct aid to government bodies, until a genuine international and independent investigation is carried out with full support from the Uzbek authorities and until widespread human rights abuses are stopped.

MEPs urge the Uzbek authorities immediately to stop the persecution and harassment of opposition politicians, human rights defenders, independent journalists and other Uzbek citizens. The House demands that those who were arrested during and after the events in Andijan be released immediately. Parliament calls on the US Administration to suspend its negotiations with the Uzbek Government regarding a formal, long-term agreement that would allow the United States to maintain its military base in Uzbekistan and provide the Uzbek government with considerable financial benefits, and to consider other alternatives in the region.

MEPs call in particular on the Government of Uzbekistan to take tangible steps towards the abolition of the death penalty, to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, to bring national legislation on the mass media into line with international requirements and standards, to end censorship, to stop pressurising independent journalists and mass media editors, and to create the conditions for making freedom of speech a reality.

Finally, the European Parliament urges the Uzbek Government to revise and simplify the process of registration for NGOs, including foreign representations, and to introduce and adopt amendments reducing control by state organs and the Ministry of Justice over NGOs' activities.

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