[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Eyewitness: Uzbek protests
Protest in Andijan - 13/5/04
The protesters believe change is imminent
Galima Bukharbaeva, the country director in Uzbekistan for the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, has witnessed the unfolding scene in Andijan. Here she tells the BBC News website about the situation.

Almost all the roads to the city centre are now blocked, and the demonstrators control the area.

Some have got weapons - many of them Kalashnikovs.

They also control the city's government offices.

I am now driving on my way out of the city, but about two hours ago I was in the central square.

I didn't see many troops around the city centre, but I was told that they were approaching

There were about 5,000 people there, some of them armed demonstrators but most of them ordinary people.

They are holding meetings, and people are making speeches, and talking about injustice and respect for human rights.

It's not just a political protest - it's also social and economic.

It's actually quite a peaceful protest. Everyone's being very polite to each other and no one's doing anything violent.

Many of the people are just locals who are interested in what is happening. A lot of them are young.

Some people look very serious, but many others look almost happy. They want change, and they are hoping that maybe something will happen now.

While I was there I went inside the [occupied] government office to find out what had happened.

I spoke to some officials who said the demonstrators had turned violent because of the arrest of some peaceful protesters late yesterday.

The arrests had made other demonstrators angry and that was why the whole thing started.

I didn't see many troops around the city centre, but I was told that they were approaching.

But there are lots of troops and tanks at the airport, which is outside the centre and is still controlled by the government.

Tense confrontation in Uzbek town
13 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
What lies behind Uzbek protests?
13 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Uzbekistan's most orderly protest
12 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Central Asia: At-a-glance
13 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Uzbekistan
14 Dec 04 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Uzbekistan
02 Nov 04 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific