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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what efforts he is making to lobby for an end to the 'sizdan ugina, bizdan bugina' culture of public officials in Uzbekistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Good governance, both economic and political, is a key aspect of our dialogue with Uzbekistan. We have consistently and repeatedly brought to the attention of senior Government figures the importance of transparency in governance and the negative effects of corruption. In a speech to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC on 18 May 2005, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary called upon the Uzbek Government to develop a much more open and pluralistic society in order to address the root causes of the recent disturbances in Andizhan. This message has also been taken forward in Uzbekistan. On 15 May, our ambassador to Tashkent raised with Deputy Foreign Minister Nematov the importance of political and economic reform in the light of events in Andizhan.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Kyrgyz authorities to protest against the apparent forced return of Uzbek refugees in early June to their home country; and if he will make a statement. 
The first was on 18 May. when he accompanied a group of diplomats, members of international organisations and the media. Mr. Moran's lobbying had been instrumental in prompting the Uzbek authorities to organise this visit. The event was tightly controlled, and Mr. Moran was unable to engage members of the public. Having pressed Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister Nematov on these restrictions. Mr. Moran secured agreement that he and EU colleagues could return unaccompanied.
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On 26 and 27 May, Mr. Moran returned to Andizhan. He visited the central Yangi bazaar, and the city's central square. There was a high security service presence, and members of the public appeared afraid to approach Mr. Moran. He had a similar experience at the Kyrgyz border near Pakhtaabad. and at the border town of Karasu. This represented a distinct change from public behaviour in early May. when people had gathered around the visiting Defence Attache"'s car. and asked him to pass news of events in Andizhan outside Uzbekistan.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what his policy is on the OSCE's efforts to promote a public inquiry into the events of 13 May in Andijan in Uzbekistan; 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We were extremely disturbed by reports of Uzbek troops firing on demonstrators in Andizhan (Andijan). When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary first heard these reports, he urged the Uzbek Government to allow an independent, international investigation. We are pleased that the US, the UN, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and NATO have all done the same. The UK was at the forefront in condemning the indiscriminate and disproportionate use offeree by the Uzbek Government.
Islam Karimov, Uzbek President, responded to our repeated calls for an inquiry by creating a Parliamentary Committee to investigate the unrest. We, and our European Union (EU) partners, have made clear that we consider this an insufficient response. On 13 June, the General Affairs External Relations Council (GAERC) called on the Uzbek Government to reconsider its position, giving a deadline of 30 June. Failure to do so will lead to punitive EU measures, including partial suspension of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA).
It is not possible to say how many people died during the unrest in Andizhan, but the recent OCSE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights' (ODIHR) report, which was published on 20 June, estimated that between 300 and 500 were killed.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the situation in Andijan, Uzbekistan has been stabilised; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
Staff from the British Embassy in Tashkent have made five visits to Andizhan (Andijan) and the surrounding region since the unrest began. David Moran, our Ambasssador to Tashkent, visited first on 18 May when he accompanied a group of diplomats, members of international organisations and
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the media. Mr. Moran's lobbying had been instrumental in prompting the Uzbek authorities to organise this visit. The event was tightly controlled, and Mr. Moran was unable to engage members of the public. Having pressed Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister Nematov on these restrictions, Mr. Moran secured agreement that he and EU colleagues could return unaccompanied.
He visited Andizhan again on 26 May, when he saw the central Yangi bazaar, and city's central square. On the same visit, he also went to the border town of Karasu, where he observed brisk market trading. Since the visits made by Embassy staff earlier in May, however, he noticed a significant increase in security service presence, and commented that members of the public appeared afraid to approach him.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with those conducting the investigations into the Andijan uprising. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: In late May 2005. Uzbek President Karimov responded to repeated calls for an independent, international inquiry by creating a Parliamentary Committee to investigate the events of 1213 May in Andizhan (Andijan), inviting diplomats from the US, France, Russia, China and Uzbekistan's regional neighbours to observe its work. On 13 June, at the General Affairs External Relations Council (GAERC), we and our EU partners rejected Karimov's proposal, and reaffirmed our call for an independent international investigation, giving a deadline of 30 June. In view of this, we have made no attempt to contact the Uzbek Parliamentary Committee.
We are, however, continuing to monitor closely the situation in Andizhan. Members of staff from the British Embassy, Tashkent, have visited the area five times since 13 May. We are also aware of the reports published by the US-based NGO Human Rights Watch, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which suggest that the Uzbek authorities used indiscriminate and disproportionate force in Andizhan. These reports, which include interviews with eye witnesses now on the Kyrgyz side of the border, further underline the need for a comprehensive, international and independent inquiry in Uzbekistan.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the recorded level of crime involving commercial premises in each Belfast police district in each of the past five years with reference to (a) burglary, (b) robbery, (c) armed robbery, (d) theft and (e) shoplifting. 
The statistics requested are as in the following tables. Figures relating to thefts from commercial premises have not been provided as it is not possible to differentiate between personal and business victims.
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|East Belfast District command Unit|
|North Belfast District Command Unit|
|South Belfast District Command Unit|
|West Belfast District Command Unit|
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