EU relaxes Uzbekistan restrictions; rights groups protest

The European Union (EU) has lifted a visa ban on several top Uzbek officials, despite a failure to make substantive advances on human rights in the country [according to international monitors]. [The four formerly on the list who are now free to travel to Europe are; Ruslan Mirzayev, a former national security advisor who is currently serving as minister of defense; Saidullo Begaliyev, Andijan’s former governor; Ismail Ergashev, a former top Defense Ministry official; and Kossimali Akhmedov, the former defense boss of the Eastern Military District, which encompassed Andijan.] An arms embargo and other sanctions are to hold up for another year, however. [Eurasianet, May 14]

From Security Briefs, May 15

See our last post on Uzbekistan.