Six jailed in Uzbek bombings

A court in Uzbekistan has jailed six people over last year’s attacks against US and Israeli embassies.

    Four Uzbek guards were killed in the embassy blasts

    Monday's verdict was the latest end to a wave of controversial trials after bombing attacks on the embassies killed four Uzbek security guards.

    Well over 100 people have been jailed so far for the violence.
     
    The defendants - two women and four men, two of the latter being blind - were jailed for between seven and 16 years for their alleged roles in the violence in March and April in locations across this former Soviet republic and in July against the two embassy buildings, the lawyer said.

    Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the standard of the trials, accusing the security forces of torturing defendants - a practice that a UN official said in 2002 was systematic in Uzbekistan.

    Accusations

    Prosecutors in the latest trial said that key defendant Murod Latipov - one of the blind men - had recruited young men to train at alleged terrorist camps in neighbouring Tajikistan.

    His wife Mastora was jailed for 16 years at an earlier trial for her alleged role in the March and April attacks.   

    Human rights in Uzbekisatan have
    come under routine criticism

    Among other things the couple had arranged foster parents for children of the female bombers, the prosecution said.

    Prior to his arrest Latipov told journalists that the couple had known one of those alleged to have blown herself up last March, Dilnoza Khalmuradova, but insisted that his wife had merely led classes teaching women to read the Quran.

    Karimov, who was Uzbekistan's last Soviet-era leader and has clung to his post ever since, is a key ally in Washington's anti-terrorism campaign in the region.

    Uzbekistan has provided US forces with a major air base near the Afghan border since the US-led intervention in Afghanistan in 2001.

    SOURCE: AFP


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