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Monday, June 27, 2005

 

Andijan survivors mourn in fear

From EurasiaNet:

Forty days have passed since the bloody events of May 13 in Andijon. The 40th day after a funeral is traditionally a time for grieving and remembrance. But, as RFE/RL reports, the living mourn the dead uneasily in Andijon today.

"We’re afraid to talk," one man told RFE/RL. "The neighborhood committee and the police keep track of everything. In Andijon today, neighbor spies on neighbor. It’s been 40 days since the events in Andijon, and informers are at work in all of the city’s neighborhoods. When the police come to homes where someone was killed, they interrogate family members and call them Wahhabis or some other kind of religious extremist. I myself was called in by the police and interrogated."

"Wherever you go, the police block your path," a second man told RFE/RL. "It’s bad everywhere. The police don’t let anyone open their mouth. If you say one word, they’ll say, ’Do you realize who you’re trying to argue with?’ Troops come into people’s homes. They have no compassion. In the Boghishamol neighborhood, 15 of them burst into a house. They trampled everything and searched through everything, took the people away, and beat them up. I have a younger brother who has a car. He was taking five or six people to the old city in his car when the police stopped them. They impounded the car and took him into custody. They beat him for 15 days."

Information is scarce, and rumor has stepped in to fill the vacuum. "I can’t say with any confidence that Andijon has returned to normal," one woman said. "These days, you sometimes hear rumors that unnerve people. Then these rumors turn out to be partially true. Today we heard that top police officials had closed up their offices and gone out to neighborhood committees. There were security services officers and commanders on our street. This made people nervous. Instead of a gradual return to calm, we have military vehicles driving all over the place. Eleven days after the events, tanks were still going around and frightening people."

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