- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Uzbekistan gives Red Cross access to its prisons

MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Uzbekistan has reopened its prisons for checks by Red Cross officials after Western criticism of the ex-Soviet republic's human rights record.

The Central Asian state barred the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from visiting its prisons after hundreds of demonstrators were shot dead by government troops at a 2005 peace protest in Andijan.

"We will be able to talk with detainees in private...and have access to all the premises in the places of detention," Yves Giovannoni, the regional head of the ICRC, said in a statement on Thursday.

Uzbekistan was subjected to harsh Western criticism over its handling of the 2005 protests. An arms embargo and other sanctions were imposed against the country and Uzbekistan ousted a U.S. airbase in response.

However, Uzbekistan has recently moved to improve relations with the West. Last week, it released several opposition activists from prison.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала