News

    Washington Ponders UN Action on Uzbekistan

    The Bush administration said Thursday it may seek action at the United Nations to prod Uzbekistan's government into heeding calls for an international investigation of last month's violence in city of Andijon. Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed by security forces in the May 13 events, which the group Human Rights Watch has labeled a massacre.

    The United States has been calling for an international investigation of the Andijon killings, and amid continued resistance to the idea by Uzbek authorities, U.S. officials say they may take the matter to the United Nations.

    The violence has been a source of political discomfort for the Bush administration, which has forged close anti-terrorism ties with the Uzbek government and used a key air base there to support U.S. operations in Afghanistan.

    This week a bipartisan group of six U.S. Senators, in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, urged the administration to reconsider its relationship with the Uzbek government of President Islam Karimov because of the Andijon events.

    At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack acknowledged receipt of the letter and said the department basically shares the concerns of the Senators.

    He said the United States wants a credible, transparent and independent investigation of what happened last month and stands ready to take part in it, along with Uzbek authorities and other international partners. He said U.S. diplomacy in pursuit of that aim now includes soundings at the United Nations.

    "We are considering all of our diplomatic options, including at the U.N. We are pleased that representatives of the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights will be returning to the refugee camp in Kyrgystan to assess the situation there," he noted.  "And in the meantime, we're talking to member states of various international organizations to try to generate support for an international investigation. We've been calling for this for some time."

    Mr. McCormack said the United States spurned an invitation to be party to an investigation by the Uzbek parliament because it did not see such a probe as a substitute for an international inquiry.

    The spokesman also said U.S. officials are concerned Uzbek authorities may be trying to silence human rights activists and journalists looking into the Andijon events through arrests and intimidation.

    A senior State Department official who spoke to reporters on terms of anonymity would not say if the administration might seek U.N. Security Council action on Uzbekistan, but said no options are being precluded.

    He said the administration was putting no deadline on its call for an international investigation but also said the effort to get one is not open-ended.

    Human Rights Watch, in its report earlier this week, said considerably more people were killed in Andijon than the 173 acknowledged by the Uzbek government.

    It said that based on eyewitness accounts, Uzbek troops used rifle and machine gun fire to crush a mass protest that grew out of a brief revolt by armed anti-government elements who seized a prison and released the inmates.

    According to the New York Times, the U.S. Senators - four Republicans and two Democrats - cautioned the administration against entering into a long-term base agreement with an Uzbek government, that in their words, brutally represses its people.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora