Screening: Andijan, a massacre foretold

Screening Monday 14th May, 2007

Combining stunning visual images and political analysis, journalist Michael Andersen takes viewers on a journey spanning the globe to investigate the West’s share of the responsibility for the largest government-sponsored massacre since Tiananmen Square.

In May 2005, Uzbek soldiers opened fire on 15,000 peaceful demonstrators, including many women and children, in Andijan. The soldiers confiscated cameras and mobile phones from those that fled the area. The lack of footage of the massacre meant there there was very little attention given to the murder of 1,000 people that day. Western governments in particular were reluctant to bring attention to their embarrassing ally in the War on Terror.

Interviews with eye-witnesses, politicians and experts reveal that prior to the massacre, the West gave the brutal dictatorship cart blanche to do as they wished in return for being allowed to position military bases in their country to be used in the War on Terror.

Since the massacre the EU, led by Germany, has gone to great lengths (and silently suffered many humiliations) to ensure that our relations with the brutal Uzbek regime continue undiminished.

Dr. Anna Matveeva is the author of a Chaillot Paper for the EU Institute for Security Studies on the ‘EU Stakes in Central Asia’, Chatham House Paper on ‘The North Caucasus: Russia’s Fragile Borderland’ and a recent report for International Alert on ‘Central Asia: Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding’.