Uzbek singer on trial for song about massacre
Dadakhan Khasanov, a popular singer and political dissident in Uzbekistan, finds himself in a position he remembers well from Soviet days. He is on trial for having written a song.
His song urges Uzbeks and the rest of the world not to forget the May 13, 2005 massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians by Uzbek government forces in Andizhan.
Fans of Mr. Khasanov distributed the song through underground channels, passing cassettes secretly from hand to hand out of fear that they would be arrested, tortured, or killed, like dozens of others who have spoken out about Andizhan.
But when a policeman heard the song on a bus, news traveled quickly back to headquarters, and Mr. Khasanov was arrested. The accusations against him include insulting the president, undermining the constitution, and disseminating illegal information.
On Monday, July 31, the first day of his trial, the courtroom was packed with observers – including embassy representatives.
Human Rights First, a New-York based nongovernmental organization which works for the protection of Human Rights Defenders worldwide has launched an international campaign in support for Mr. Khasanov.
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You can join the campaign at
Read the lyrics of the controversial song at