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Uzbekistan: Top UN Human Rights Official on Landmark Visit

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, arrived in Uzbekistan on May 10 for a rare visit that advocacy groups hope could signal a break from a legacy of repression.

After arriving in Tashkent, Zeid met with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov to discuss key priorities in improving human rights. No specifics have yet been forthcoming, but Zeid is reportedly slated to give a press conference during his visit.

Uzbekistan certainly plays the game when its coming to being seen to engage with the international rights agenda. It is a signatory to multiple UN conventions on various aspects of basic human rights and it regularly submits to depositions to the UN Human Rights Committee.

In practise, however, Uzbekistan has been chronically deceptive and evasive about its appalling rights record.

In its 2016 country report on Uzbekistan, the U.S. State Department details an extensive catalogue of ills, including “torture and abuse of detainees by security forces, denial of due process and fair trial, and an inability of citizens to choose their government in free, fair, and periodic elections.”

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Uzbekistan: Top UN Human Rights Official on Landmark Visit

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