Forced to leave the shelter of hastily-made refugee camps in Andijan region and border areas of Uzbekistan, more than 75,000 ethnic Uzbeks, traumatized and wounded, made their way back to Osh to vote in the June 27 referendum. Only about a thousand or so too injured to move were allowed temporarily to remain in a camp near the border; some were tricked into thinking they would be moving to a new camp and instead were put on buses to deliver them to the border. Many of them had nothing to return to, having suffered the burning and looting of their homes during pogroms that raged in Osh and Andijan for two weeks in June. There were reports that authorities were making some Uzbek householders sign statements that they were responsible for their destroyed property themselves.
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Catherine A. Fitzpatrick compiles the Uzbekistan weekly roundup for EurasiaNet. She is also editor of EurasiaNet's Choihona blog. To subscribe to Uzbekistan News Briefs, write firstname.lastname@example.org