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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Post-Andijan Crackdown Detailed

The Uzbek government, stung by the outcry in the West over its bloody suppression of a prison break and anti-government demonstration in Andijan in May, has engaged for months in a ferocious crackdown against those who have tried to expose the brutality, says a new report released by Human Rights Watch, a prominent New York-based human rights organization.

The report says the crackdown included widespread arrests, threats and harassment and was directed at witnesses, survivors, human rights defenders, journalists and political workers.

The report says some victims have been beaten and that some have been forced to issue scripted confessions on state television, saying they were misled into attending the anti-government demonstration and begging for forgiveness from President Islam Karimov.

While many elements of the crackdown have previously been described, including the indefinite detention of human rights workers and intense coercion against the families of refugees who fled after the demonstration, the report was the most thorough description to date of the crackdown. It also framed the crackdown in the larger context of the unease Uzbek leaders have displayed after revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Karimov "fears he is the next domino," said Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch.