4 Jul 2022 10:27

Nukus unrest kills 18 - Uzbek Prosecutor General's Office

TASHKENT. July 4 (Interfax) - The deaths of 18 people during the July 1-2 unrest in Nukus, the capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan in northwestern Uzbekistan, were reported by Arbor Mamatov, a prosecutor from the Uzbek Prosecutor General's Office.

"As a result of the mass unrest in Nukus, 18 persons have died of severe injuries," Mamatov said at a virtual press briefing on Monday.

According to the Uzbek National Guard, 243 people were hurt during the unrest, and 94 of them were hospitalized.

Earlier, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev confirmed casualties among civilians and law enforcement officers at a meeting with parliament deputies and activists of Karakalpakstan on Sunday, the presidential press service said.

"Government buildings and guarded facilities were attacked. Unfortunately, there are casualties among civilians and law enforcement officers," the press service quoted Mirziyoyev as saying.

"Certain forces have taken the path of violence under the guise of protest against constitutional reforms," Mirziyoyev said.

"They are spreading fake information and are drawing citizens into unconstitutional activities in order to destabilize society and undermine the territorial integrity," he said.

As reported earlier, both chambers of the Uzbek parliament approved Mirziyoyev's order that declares a state of emergency in Karakalpakstan amid unrest.

On Friday, an unsanctioned protest over amendments to the constitution of Uzbekistan took place in Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan. According to the press service for the Uzbek Interior Ministry, "law enforcement units and equipment were used in order to prevent public unrest and put a stop to various offences committed by citizens."

The parliament, the government and the Interior Ministry of Karakalpakstan published a joint statement on Saturday. They said that law enforcement agencies had detained a group of unrest organizers and charged them with an attempt to take over the regional authorities.

Mirziyoyev arrived in Nukus, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan in northwestern Uzbekistan, on Saturday and proposed that the constitutional provision on the sovereignty of Karakalpakstan remain valid.

The Uzbek president called for holding a constitutional referendum last week. According to the draft amendments, "The Republic of Karakalpakstan is part of the Republic of Uzbekistan. All rights and freedoms envisaged by the constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan are guaranteed in the territory of the Republic of Karakalpakstan."

The president also said that severe measures would be taken against those violating public security in Uzbekistan.