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Defendants Say Foreign Media Helped Plot Revolt in Uzbekistan


The first of 15 defendants on trial for their alleged roles in a May anti-government uprising in the eastern Uzbek town of Andijan says he plotted the rebellion with the help of foreign journalists.

Defendant Muidin Sobirov spoke before the Uzbek supreme court Wednesday, the second day of hearings. He said foreign reporters advised him and other alleged plotters on what clothing to wear and how to organize demonstrations to gain more public support.

The defendants, who could face the death penalty, all pleaded guilty to charges including links to Islamic extremists and an attempted coup.

London-based Human Rights Watch has said there was evidence that police forced confessions from people involved in the protests. Rights workers say Uzbek security forces fired on demonstrators and killed as many as 750 people.

Uzbek officials deny the claims.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.