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Uzbekistan: Andijan Doc Attempts Minister's Rehabilitation

Former Interior MInister Zokir Almatov shown in screengrab from documentary produced by former BBC Central Asia correspondent Monical Whitlock on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Andijan events.

State media in Uzbekistan tends as a rule to avoid the thorny issue of the events of May 2005 in Andijan, so it was unusual to see a documentary revisiting the episode broadcast earlier this week.

The half-hour documentary, titled “The Day That Shook the Golden Valley,” was shown on state television on the evening of February 19, but was also available for viewing online some weeks before.

Much of the narrative is a reprise of earlier state accounts, albeit with some small and telling additions: Insurgents seized weapons from a local police precinct and a military base. They then attacked the prison and liberated 23 members of the so-called Akromiya Islamist group, which is said to have been founded by influential local businessman Akram Yuldashev, along with hundreds of other prisoners.

What the documentary does not dwell upon, however, was the massive rally that was unfolding in a central square in Andijan on that May 13. Many of those killed in the unrest as troops sought to quell the unrest were unarmed civilians. 

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Uzbekistan: Andijan Doc Attempts Minister's Rehabilitation

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