|6/03/2005: Uzbekistan: USCIRF releases Policy Focus with recommendations for U.S. policy|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released Policy Focus on Uzbekistan at a roundtable"Human Rights and Instability in Uzbekistan" at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. USCIRF Commissioner Michael Cromartie represented the Commission and was joined by Robert Templer, Director of the Asia Program at the International Crisis Group, who presented Crisis Group's report, "Uzbekistan: the Andijon Uprising," on recent events in Uzbekistan. The roundtable was chaired by Dr. Martha Brill Olcott, Senior Associate at Carnegie.
Policy Focus on Uzbekistan includes a number of recommendations for U.S. policy. Many of those recommendations were formulated on the basis of a Commission trip to Uzbekistan in October 2004, when the Commission met with Uzbek government officials, human rights activists, religious leaders, and former prisoners in the Ferghana Valley, including in Andijon, as well as in Tashkent and Samarkand.
In April 2005, the Commission recommended to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the State Department designate Uzbekistan as a "country of particular concern," or CPC, in accordance with the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, due to its egregious, systematic, and ongoing violations of religious freedom. CPC designation carries with it the requirement that the U.S. government take specific policy actions, up to and including the cessation of economic and security assistance.
In addition to recommending that Uzbekistan be designated as a CPC, the Commission recommends that: