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US blocks probe into Uzbekistan

Issue No. 1956

US defence officials last week blocked calls for an investigation into the recent massacre of an estimated 500 protesters in Uzbekistan.

Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan’s dictator, is backed by the US because of his support for George Bush’s “war on terror”. Karimov allows the US to use a strategically vital military air base in the country.

According to the Washington Post, European officials at a Nato meeting were pushing for an independent investigation into last month’s massacre.

But the proposals were stymied after diplomats ended up in a “vigorous debate” with US defence officials. The US military chiefs emphasised the importance of the Uzbek air base and refused to allow criticism of Karimov’s regime.


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International
Sat 18 Jun 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1956
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