South Kyrgyzstan forces may have used torture: UN rights
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 21:08
Geneva: The UN human rights chief said today that she had information that security forces in Kyrgyzstan used torture and arbitrary detention during June's deadly inter-ethnic clashes.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said such action threatened the "fragile peace and re-establishment of the rule of law" in the region, where clashes between the Kyrgyz majority and the Uzbek minority left some 294 people dead.

"My staff in Kyrgyzstan have received information suggesting that local authorities are routinely turning a blind eye to illegal arrests, torture and ill-treatment of detainees leading to forced confessions," said Pillay in a statement.

"Large numbers of people -- most of them young men, and virtually all of them Uzbek -- have been arbitrarily detained in ways that not only demonstrate flagrant ethnic bias, but also break many of the fundamental tenets of both Kyrgyz and international law."

Pillay said her sources indicated that more than 1,000 people had been detained in the southern Kyrgyzstan cities of Osh and Jalalabad since the violence.

There were reports of "sustained, or repeated beatings" of detainees. Those held were also asked to confess to crimes that they claim not to have committed, she said.


First Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 21:08

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