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Uzbekistan objects to UN investigating Andizhan events

GENEVA, October 20 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Andrianova) - Uzbekistan's authorities said in an official document Thursday that they object to the UN's participation in the investigation of the May uprising in Andizhan, but will allow the organization to monitor the process.

The document said Tashkent does not object to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sending observers, but they will not be given access to prison camps, investigation materials and procedural measures, since doing so would contradict national legislation.

In late September, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour asked the Uzbek government to allow her representative to attend the trial of persons accused of organizing mass disorders in Andizhan. She insisted that her representative be given access to all investigation materials, including the interrogations of the detained persons and medical expert examinations.

"This answer disappointed us very much. It absolutely fails to correspond to what we expected," the UNHCHR press secretary said.

The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan is trying 15 persons accused of perpetrating terrorist acts and other gave crimes during the uprising from May 12 to 13 of this year.

Despite numerous appeals, Uzbek authorities are objecting to an international investigation into the Andizhan events, which, according to official counts, claimed the lives of 187 people.

Human rights watchers and foreign journalists have placed the number much higher.

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