Uzbekistan detains more than 300 people in connection with deadly riots, rights group says

Authorities said fourteen protesters and four law enforcement officials were killed in the violence, blaming unspecified “foreign forces” for the incident. It was the deadliest riot since 2005 in the Central Asian country, a former Soviet republic.

The state of emergency in Karakalpakstan, which entailed a curfew and limited Internet connection, ended early Thursday morning after Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev decided to lift it almost two weeks ahead of schedule.

The Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF), a Europe-based human rights group, said more than 300 of the 367 people detained during the riots remained behind bars as of July 20.

ODF researcher Lyudmila Kozlovskaya also said that dozens of people are still missing. Uzbekistan’s Prosecutor General’s Office this week dismissed the list of missing persons published by the ODF as incorrect.

Authorities did not say how many people remained in custody.

Following protests, Mirziyoyev ordered his government to abandon plans to revise Karakalpakstan’s legal status as part of constitutional reform.

On Thursday, the president reaffirmed the official position on the unrest, saying in a meeting with other Central Asian leaders that the unrest “confirmed the existence of destructive forces that are trying to thwart our plans, sow chaos and instability in our region.”

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