28 july 2014

Central Asia news: Human Rights

Uzbek citizen Yusup Kasymahunov kidnapped in Russia

Uzbek citizen Yusup Kasymahunov kidnapped in Russia

20.12.2012 16:55 msk Human Rights Russia

On 14 December 2012 Uzbek citizen Yusup Kasymahunov was kidnapped in the Moscow region. It appears that he was kidnapped and taken out the country by Uzbekistan’s security services with the help of Russian border guards: Tashkent was vying for Kasymahunov’s extradition, but official extradition was stopped through efforts by the Strasbourg court and Russian human rights activists. Russian authorities and the office of the Russian representative to the European Human Rights Court (EHRC) were against the extradition, yet these warnings did not result in any action: Yusup has disappeared and is now probably in one of the detention cells in Tashkent or Andijan. Elena Ryabinina, manager of the “Right to Shelter” programme at the Institute of Human Rights, talks in more detail about the kidnapping of Yusup Kasymahunov.

Andrew Stroehlein: Letter to Gulnara Karimova

Andrew Stroehlein: Letter to Gulnara Karimova

12.12.2012 16:50 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

After an exchange on Twitter with Gulnara Karimova, Andrew Stroehlein, Communications Director at International Crisis Group, has written an open letter to the daughter of the Uzbek president. He highlights human rights violations, including the lack of political freedom and imprisonment of civil society activists, torture, forced labour, the Andijan massacre and restrictions on freedom of expression. Andrew Stroehlein calls on Gulnara Karimova as Uzbekistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva to address these issues.

Human Rights Watch: Free Uzbek Political Prisoners on Constitution Day

Human Rights Watch: Free Uzbek Political Prisoners on Constitution Day

06.12.2012 11:47 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

The Uzbek government should unconditionally release all of its political prisoners on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the country’s constitution on December 8, 2012, human rights groups said today. Freeing the country’s many political prisoners would demonstrate a genuine commitment to Uzbekistan’s much-touted reform process, the groups said. The nine groups are Human Rights Watch, Freedom Now, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, the International Partnership for Human Rights, the International Association for Human Rights Defense “Fiery Hearts Club,” PEN American Center, ACAT-France, and the International Federation for Human Rights.

Hero of the day: Kyrgyz SDPK MP suggested death sentence by electric chair to prisoners serving life

Hero of the day: Kyrgyz SDPK MP suggested death sentence by electric chair to prisoners serving life

05.12.2012 12:46 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan must introduce the death penalty – it is more “humane and economically viable” than a life sentence, said social democrat fraction MP Erkin Sakebayev on 4 December at a meeting of the committee on law, safety and crime fighting, KYRtag reports. “A life sentence means a slow death, why torture them like that? I think it is much more humane to introduce the death penalty. In the USA, for example, criminals are executed on the electric chair. Why don’t we introduce the same method?” Sakebayev suggested.

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia: There are more than 2,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia: There are more than 2,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan

30.11.2012 00:07 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, visited Kyrgyzstan for the first time on 28 November. Human rights activists have been preparing for her visit in advance. The situation of political prisoners’ situation became the main topic in the messages sent by human rights activists. On 22 November, Human Rights Watch, a leading international human rights organisation, called Catherine Ashton to publically demand the liberation of illegally imprisoned activists, who are languishing in local prisons. Nadejda Ataeva, leader of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, based in France, which is at one with HRW’s request, talked about the situation of political prisoners held in Uzbek prisons in an interview with NBC Central Asia. The shortened version of the interview is published on the IWPR website.

Letter to Azimjan Askarov, or New York will wait for the laureate

Letter to Azimjan Askarov, or New York will wait for the laureate

28.11.2012 23:17 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

The prestigious International Press Freedom Awards were given out by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.org) in the USA on 20 November. Human rights activist and journalist Azimjon Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan, is one of the four laureates of the prize. Fergana editor Daniil Kislov was at the ceremony, held in one of New York’s most majestic venues. He recounts his experiences in a letter to Mr Askarov, who is serving a life sentence in Bishkek following an unjust court verdict.

Azimjan Askarov Takes His Torture and Unfair Trial in Kyrgyzstan to Human Rights Committee

Azimjan Askarov Takes His Torture and Unfair Trial in Kyrgyzstan to Human Rights Committee

13.11.2012 23:51 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

Azimjan Askarov, a leading human rights activist imprisoned in Kyrgyzstan, has taken his case to the UN Human Rights Committee, in a complaint filed on his behalf by the Open Society Justice Initiative and Nurbek Toktakunov, a Kyrgyzstan-based lawyer. The abuses suffered by Askarov are representative of a wider pattern seen in a series of prosecutions of ethnic-Uzbeks that followed the ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010. Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, noted after a visit to Kyrgyzstan in December 2011 that the police had failed to take meaningful steps to investigate complaints of torture in the aftermath of the violence.

Human Rights Watch: Skewed Justice Over 2010 Conflict in Kyrgyzstan

Human Rights Watch: Skewed Justice Over 2010 Conflict in Kyrgyzstan

29.10.2012 09:48 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

On October 25, 2012, the Osh Province Court sentenced 33-year-old Mahamad Bizurukov, an ethnic Uzbek and a Russian citizen, to life in prison. In the second recent case, Niyazaliev was detained by Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee officers on the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan border in January. He was extradited to Kyrgyzstan in June to stand trial in connection with violence in the Suzak district in June 2010. Prosecutors allege that residents of the district blocked the Bishkek-Osh highway near the Sanpa cotton factory on June 12 and 13, poured fuel oil on the road to slow vehicles, and attacked drivers and passengers. The investigation said that 16 people were killed and two others are missing as a result. In 2011, 18 other people were sentenced to life in prison on charges related to this violence, and one defendant to 25 years in prison. “It is a miscarriage of justice and reeks of revenge when defendants are sentenced to life in prison in unfair trials. Kyrgyzstan’s authorities should immediately review these convictions and ensure that all the defendants’ rights are upheld, especially their right to a fair and impartial trial", Hugh Williamson, HRW Europe and Central Asia director said.

Knut Vollebaek: The underlying reasons for the June events have still not been eradicated

Knut Vollebaek: The underlying reasons for the June events have still not been eradicated

22.10.2012 21:02 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek visited Kyrgyzstan in mid-October. During his three day visit, he went to the South of the republic and met the authorities. At the end of his visit, Mr Vollebaek gave Fergana an exclusive interview, in which he said that the underlying reasons which lead to the disturbances and violence of June 2010 have still not been examined and that there are problems in delivering fair justice in criminal cases. However, he said that much has been done to reconstruct normal life, and the situation in the South of the country has become significantly better, with representatives of different groups communicating with each other more.

Obidhon Nazarov, imam shot in Sweden, is recovering and Uzbeks leave Stromsund

Obidhon Nazarov, imam shot in Sweden, is recovering and Uzbeks leave Stromsund

19.10.2012 09:56 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

An attempt on the life of Uzbek imam Obidhon-kori Nazarov took place on 22 February 2012 in Stromsund, Sweden. The Uzbek community in Stromsund believes that the imam has been an eyesore for the Tashkent authorities and has called on the imam to be vigilant. The attempted murderer shot the imam at the door of his home, since then, the imam has been in a coma, but is gradually recovering. “Our father is unconscious, but the doctors have said that the danger has passed and his wound is healing,” said the imam’s son Dovud. However, he said that the healing process may take a long time. The doctors have also not given an estimate for the imam’ recovery time. Dovud Nazarov comes to the hospital every day, and sometimes spends an entire day by his father’s bed. The doctors explained it is possible that Obid Nazarov hears and understands those who are near him, but cannot answer them yet.

Tajikistan: dubious efforts against torture

Tajikistan: dubious efforts against torture

03.10.2012 16:57 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

People accused of crimes in Tajikistan continue dying in mysterious circumstances during the preliminary investigations. Several people died after jumping out of the windows of one the law enforcement agency offices. Recently, relatives received a disfigured body with ample evidence of beatings and strong burns in the shape of an iron from an investigative detention facility No 1. Yet the Central Directorate of Corrections explained that the marks were made by doctors to revive him, and that supposedly he was not beaten, but instead attempted suicide…

Kyrgyzstan: journalists picket “Let’s show parliament our teeth”

Kyrgyzstan: journalists picket “Let’s show parliament our teeth”

02.10.2012 18:01 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

A picket called “Let’s show parliament our teeth” to defend free speech and access to information took place on 1 October 2012 outside the Kyrgyzstan Parliament building. The reason for the action was that Kyrgyzstan’s MPs have attempted to sabotage journalists’ work more than once. Around 70 people gathered by the Jogorku Kenesh (parliament), around 50 of those were journalists from various national and international press outlets. Some even came with small children, whom they could not leave at home. However, not all the media participated and only some covered the event. First, the journalists displayed posters on the parliament fence saying “The cameras see everything, dictaphones hear everything. The truth cannot be hidden!”, “Fergana.ru, NTS, who’s next?!”, “The parliament is beyond conscience and shame”, “The government totally supports the freedom of expression, as long as it is strictly controlled.”

Tajik journalists attempt to defend their rights again and again

Tajik journalists attempt to defend their rights again and again

26.09.2012 23:25 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

Tajikistan’s media organisations and mass media outlets are beginning a joint action called “100 days of freedom in Tajnet”. The reasons for the joint action are regular blocks of websites and many violations of the rights of journalists. The media’s problems in Tajikistan began with special military operations in Khorog in July 2012 aimed at neutralising illegal armed gangs and catching the killers of Abdullo Nazarov, the General of the Committee of National Security. From the first days of the operations, the website of information agency Asia-plus(www.news.tj) was blocked.

Uzbekistan: renaissance of street crime in previously safe Tashkent

Uzbekistan: renaissance of street crime in previously safe Tashkent

20.09.2012 01:30 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Only a few years ago, Tashkent was seen as quite a safe and happy city: you could go for an evening stroll in most neighbourhoods. It is now obvious to many that street crime is undergoing a renaissance, with crimes becoming more organised and dangerous. Even the city police itself has stopped fulfilling its function of public order defender, and police “protection” of street crime is becoming a widespread trend. For more, read more in an article by Fergana observer Maxim Baylis.

Azimjon Askarov, jailed for life in Kyrgyzstan, gets International Press Freedom Award

Azimjon Askarov, jailed for life in Kyrgyzstan, gets International Press Freedom Award

14.09.2012 20:14 msk Human Rights Russia

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.org), a New York based organisation, announced that it has given four journalists, who risked their lives and freedom, to talk about abuses of power and human rights violations in Brazil, China, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia, the 2012 International Press Freedom Award. Azimjon Askarov, journalist and human rights defender, is an ethnic Uzbek from the Southern Kyrgyz town of Jalal-abad, who was sentenced to life in jail on 15 September 2010. He was detained three months earlier on suspicion of organising mass disturbances during the tragic events in Southern Kyrgyzstan and charged with complicity in a police officer’s murder.

Dumb slaves, or Cotton under the barrel of a gun

Dumb slaves, or Cotton under the barrel of a gun

03.09.2012 17:17 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

The so called “cotton campaign” is starting at the beginning of September in Uzbekistan, when farmers are not the only ones to go the fields, but also government workers, students and school children. Even if, year after year, the authorities promise that the former will not be doing involuntary free labour, the fate of the state sponsored students or even private company employees, who have had orders from “above”, has been decided. The practice of using city dwellers in agricultural work has been around since Soviet times, but it is difficult to assign it as “the tragic inheritance of homo Sovieticus”. More likely, this practice is reminiscent of a slave-owning system. Maxim Baileys, Fergana’s Tashkent observer, has written a review of this situation.

Uzbekistan: letter from the penal colony «Jaslyk» on new cases of torture

Uzbekistan: letter from the penal colony «Jaslyk» on new cases of torture

03.09.2012 17:11 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

This letter is more like a note passed among prisoners of the penal colony 64/71 (Uzbekistan). They describe a new form of punishment administered chaotically, and their attempts to resist the violence directed against them to suppress the human spirit. Translation from Uzbek language into Russian language was prepared by the Association «Human Rights in Central Asia» (Association Droits de l’Homme en Asie Centrale).

IWPR: Daring to Strike in Turkmenistan

29.08.2012 20:28 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

Industrial action is extremely rare in Turkmenistan, because of the fear of retribution in this police state. But several localised strikes and protests in recent months suggest the government is prepared to make concessions on pay in order to keep the peace. In the latest dispute, the human rights website Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported that workers building a major road bridge over the river Amu Darya in eastern Turkmenistan staged a strike in mid-August because they had not been paid for three months. The report said managers tried a mixture of threats and persuasion to try to get the builders back to work. The strike continued, however, and by the end of a week they were paid their back wages in full. Another protest over pay took place in April, when local employees of a Turkish construction company involved in building a five-star hotel at the Avaza resort, a flagship development on the Caspian coast.

Subsidies Subside in Turkmenistan

02.08.2012 10:47 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

The Turkmen government has made major cuts to the subsidies it has traditionally provided its population. In July, it removed a subsidy system for flour which had been in place for the last 15 years. Each household used to get coupons which they could exchange for flour at a special low price.

A tragedy foretold: Norway condemns Uzbek activist to jail and torture

08.07.2012 22:45 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

“I will be arrested the minute I land in Uzbekistan and then thrown in prison,” an Uzbek human rights activist tells me, “and what happens with me afterwards is a good question.” Since 12 June he has been held at the immigration services detention centre in Oslo, Norway, after having received the third and final rejection of his appeal for political asylum. He will be deported on 12 July. Looking at his case it is obvious that the Norwegian authorities are ignoring evidence showing that returning Rustam to Uzbekistan is as good as sentencing him to torture, even death. They have also disregarded UN evidence that says returned Uzbek dissidents who sought refugee status abroad have been disappeared and subjected to torture.

IWPR: Show Trials in Turkmenistan

IWPR: Show Trials in Turkmenistan

29.06.2012 17:43 msk Human Rights Turkmenistan

The Soviet-era practice of holding show trials for individuals accused of relatively minor economic crimes is alive and well in Turkmenistan, and local observers say that once in the system, defendants have no chance of a fair hearing. For the state, it is a demonstration of power, and for the security agencies, an opportunity to show they are fighting crime. The latest took place in the northern town of Dashoguz, and involved nine workers at a printing house, including the deputy director, who were convicted and imprisoned for stealing paper and using it to do private print jobs.

Kyrgyzstan: Azimzhan Askarov’s lawyers insist on review of his case

Kyrgyzstan: Azimzhan Askarov’s lawyers insist on review of his case

26.06.2012 00:41 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

Lawyers of Azimzhan Askarov, a human rights defender sentenced to life, insist on review of his case due to new evidence. They have found over a hundred of new witnesses of the June 2010 tragic events in the south of Kyrgyzstan willing to testify at the court. As one recalls, Azimjon Askarov, a human rights defender who worked on documenting police treatment of detainees, was found guilty of involvement in the gruesome killing of a policeman and injuring several officers during mass disturbances in the southern city of Bazar-Kurgan in June 2010. After a prosecution marred with fair trial violations and allegations of torture, he was sentenced to life in prison. On December 20, 2011, the Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

Uzbek authorities fear spread of Arab Spring and tighten control of internet use by youth

Uzbek authorities fear spread of Arab Spring and tighten control of internet use by youth

30.05.2012 21:53 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

In fear of the “the Arab Spring”, Uzbek authorities have taken measures for intensifying control over internet and even mobile phones users. Uzbek ministry of education adopted a special decree restricting visits to local internet cafes by school students. Teachers of local lyceums and colleges have to sit at local internet cafes in shifts from 9.00 a.m. until 20.00 p.m. In case they see any of their students at the internet cafe they demand the internet cafe administration to block the access to internet for this student and tell the student to leave the internet cafe immediately. The Uzbek officials claim such measures are necessary for improving school attendance which really doesn’t make much sense, since as a rule half of lyceum and college students in Uzbekistan regularly miss their classes and merely buy out their points and diplomas, having to work in the cotton fields instead.

Trial for Russian pensioner arrested for a pack of pills has been canceled

Trial for Russian pensioner arrested for a pack of pills has been canceled

24.05.2012 19:07 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

The trial for an old Russian lady Tamara Talashmanova who was arrested in Uzbekistan and faced 5 to 7 years in prison for carrying a pack of sedative pills Phenazepam has been canceled. According to the Sverdlov’s public television which quotes a statement issued by the office of the Russian foreign ministry in Yekaterinburg, this achievement is due to involvement of the Russian authorities. We insist on giving the credit also to the Russian media which made it a high profile case.

Uzbekistan: Old Russian woman to go to jail for a pack of pills

Uzbekistan: Old Russian woman to go to jail for a pack of pills

15.05.2012 00:16 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

A 73-years-old Russian woman Tamara Talashmanova from a small town of Sysert in Ural has been under home arrest in Uzbekistan since April 26, 2012. The Russian pensioner with no previous criminal record faces 5 to 7 years in prison. After visiting her old friends in Uzbekistan, Tamara Talashmanova was on her way home catching a flight from Samarkand to Ekaterinburg on the 26th of April. At the airport she was stopped after police found a blister of Phenazepam pills in her hand luggage. Uzbek authorities took her foreign passport and a plane ticket and put her under home arrest pending trial on charges of “drug smuggling”.

Uzbekistan: New members of the “persecuted journalists” club

Uzbekistan: New members of the “persecuted journalists” club

03.05.2012 23:06 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Trials over journalists like Elena Bondar and Viktor Krymzalov, employee of the UK embassy in Uzbekistan Leonid Kudryavtsev, along with many human rights defenders, such as Tatiana Dovlatova, in particular, vividly demonstrate that the authorities have changed their tactics towards punishing persons engaged in civic activism considered by Uzbek authorities to be undesirable. The most recent cases add another touch of color to the picture of the Uzbekistan’s reality providing evidence of creation of a peculiar club of honor, consisting of persecuted independent journalists.

Uzbekistan: 50th birthday in prison

Uzbekistan: 50th birthday in prison

26.04.2012 10:57 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Over the course of the last year, the relations between Uzbekistan and the West have steadily improved. But, as we discuss the costs and benefits of any further strategic engagement with the Karimov’s regime, we must not forget the individual victims of that government's repressive policies who continue to languish in Uzbekistan's prisons.

Uzbekistan: Rustam Usmanov’s son applies to the president of Uzbekistan for a pardon

Uzbekistan: Rustam Usmanov’s son applies to the president of Uzbekistan for a pardon

20.04.2012 16:49 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Earlier this year, a formerly well-known banker, doctor of science, journalist and writer Rustam Usmanov who had already served 14 years in prison has been sentenced to additional 5 years while still in jail. His family and even his own defense attorney have learned about this post factum only. Desperate to see his father released any time soon, Rustam Usmanov’s son has addressed the president of Uzbekistan in an open letter describing some of the previously unknown details of his father’s conviction. A short abstract from the letter is published by Fergana in English.

Rustam Usmanov’s simple math: Fourteen plus two

Rustam Usmanov’s simple math: Fourteen plus two

24.02.2012 22:45 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

It’s been reported to Fergana that Rustam Usmanov, formerly a well-known businessman, sentenced to 14 years in prison in Uzbekistan upon a number of tax charges in 1998, has recently been sentenced to another five years in prison under the article 221 of the Uzbekistan’s Criminal Code (“Noncompliance with requirements of the prison administration’). According to our own data, the 14-years-long imprisonment of the former banker Usmanov ended on the 14 of February, 2012. However, he has not been released as expected but sentenced to another five years in prison. There is no official confirmation of this information yet. His defense attorney has not received a copy of the new sentence that should explain the reason for such a severe punishment (longest possible sentence under the article 221).

France: Human right activists extend their congratulations to Islam Karimov, too

France: Human right activists extend their congratulations to Islam Karimov, too

31.01.2012 13:49 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Human right activists from a number of international NGOs, including ACAT-France (Action des chretiens pour l'abolition de la torture et des executions capitals), FIDH (The International Federation for Human Rights), Amnesty International-France, the French League for Human Rights (LDH), along with the Ardent Hearts Club and the Human rights in Central Asia Association gathered in front of the embassy of Uzbekistan in Paris for a public action dedicated to liberation of all political prisoners and protection of human rights on the occasion of Islam Karimov’s birthday on the 30 of January, 2012.

Reporters Without Borders: Tajik opposition journalist Dodojon Atovulloev stabbed in Moscow

Reporters Without Borders: Tajik opposition journalist Dodojon Atovulloev stabbed in Moscow

13.01.2012 18:12 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the assault yesterday on the Tajik journalist Dodojon Atovulloev, who was stabbed in a Moscow restaurant, and calls on the Russian police to do all it can to identify his attacker and those behind the crime. “All avenues must be explored, taking account of the professional activities of this noted opposition journalist,” the press freedom organization said.

Kyrgyzstan: Who’s gonna rescue the victims of “ethnic tortures”?

Kyrgyzstan: Who’s gonna rescue the victims of “ethnic tortures”?

15.12.2011 10:20 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

Since June 14, 2010, the France-based Association of “Human rights in the Central Asia” has received a huge amount of complaints filed by citizens of Kyrgyzstan of Uzbek ethnic origin, reporting all kinds of violation of their rights committed by the law enforcement and investigative bodies. As a result of an over year-long monitoring activities, the association has compiled a list of tortured victims, convicted under some fabricated indictments. The Fergana news agency has published this list on the occasion of a visit of Juan E. Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, into Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan: Sexual violence amidst ethnic conflict

Kyrgyzstan: Sexual violence amidst ethnic conflict

05.12.2011 10:51 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

«Kyrgyzstan: Sexual violence amidst ethnic conflict» - such is the title of the new Report of the Association «Human Rights in Central Asia». Publication of the Report has been timed to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. From 25 November to 10 December 2011 An international campaign «16 days against gender violence» is taking place under the auspices of the UN. Even 1.5 years after the tragic events of June 2010 in the South of Kyrgyzstan it has not been possible to establish the exact number of victims of sexual violence. The experts of the Association managed to interview 12 victims, of whom seven women were aged 40 to 60, three women were aged between 18 and 40 and two were younger than 18. They all refused to disclose their names. Married women were scared that publicity would lead to divorce; unmarried ones were scared of becoming unsuitable for marriage.

Q & A: Khudaiberdiyev on Kyrgyz trial, press freedom

Q & A: Khudaiberdiyev on Kyrgyz trial, press freedom

02.12.2011 10:12 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

In late October, a regional court in Jalal-Abad, southern Kyrgyzstan, convicted and sentenced in absentia to hefty prison terms two ethnic Uzbek media owners, Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev of Mezon TV and Khalil Khudaiberdiyev of Osh TV. Both men were tried in connection to the ethnic conflict that ravaged southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. Authorities accused both media owners of stirring up the violence and participating in the mass killings--charges that CPJ research established to be politicized and unfounded. CPJ reached out to Khudaiberdiyev, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail, to comment on the prosecution and the state of press freedom in Kyrgyzstan.

Q & A: Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev on Kyrgyz 'justice'

Q & A: Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev on Kyrgyz 'justice'

16.11.2011 10:20 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

On October 28, a regional court in Jalal-Abad, southern Kyrgyzstan, announced its verdict in the trial of six men - all ethnic Uzbeks — charged in connection with violent ethnic conflict in June 2010. Among the defendants were owners of what was once the region's most influential media - Khalil Khudaiberdiyev of Osh TV and Dzhavlon Mirzakhodzhayev of Mezon TV. The Jalal-Abad City Court declared the defendants guilty on separate counts of incitement to ethnic hatred, organizing mass disorder, creation of armed military groups, separatism, and abuse of office. Khudaiberdiyev was sentenced to 20 years in jail, and Mirzakhodzhayev to 14 years; both men had fled Kyrgyzstan in 2010 and were tried and sentenced in absentia. CPJ reached out to Mirzakhodzhayev to comment on the prosecution and the state of press freedom in Kyrgyzstan.

Uzbekistan: Psychologist Maxim Popov freed from jail

Uzbekistan: Psychologist Maxim Popov freed from jail

01.09.2011 15:08 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Maxim Popov, born in 1982, civil activist, sentenced to seven years in jail in 2009. Freed on June 9, 2011. After serving two and half years in jail, 29-year old psychologist and head of the Isis nongovernmental organization Maxim Popov has been freed. He was sentenced to seven years in jail in June 2009 by the Chilanzar district court in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent. Soon after the verdict, which was not made publicly available, Maxim Popov joined the ranks of the country’s prisoners of conscience, which already included the dozens of rights activists, journalists and dissidents languishing in jail as «enemies of the people of Uzbekistan.»

Uzbekistan: Citizen of Russia Yuri Korepanov released from custody, but cannot leave Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan: Citizen of Russia Yuri Korepanov released from custody, but cannot leave Uzbekistan

29.08.2011 01:37 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Yuri Korepanov, a citizen of the Russian Federation convicted for 16 years in jail in Uzbekistan, has been released from custody, but he cannot leave for Russia. His documents are not issued. 29 June 2011 Yuri Korepanov, who had been convicted to a 16 year prison term on the 11th of January 2011 by the Military Tribunal of Uzbekistan, was released from the prison hospital. Over the past two months he has been staying at his relatives in Tashkent. He is not being issued a certificate of release from custody. Rated as a 2nd group disabled Korepanov is compelled to wait until the Uzbek services issued an identification document for him. The term for finishing this procedure is unknown. The sentence under his criminal case has not been cancelled.

OSCE PA Takes Up Discussion of Torture and Other Assaults on Human Rights in Its Member States

OSCE PA Takes Up Discussion of Torture and Other Assaults on Human Rights in Its Member States

12.07.2011 10:24 msk Human Rights Central Asia

On July 6-9, parliamentarians from OSCE member states gathered together for the annual conference of its Parliamentary Assembly, which was held in Belgrade. Among several agenda items, some of them strictly dealing with the usual OSCE bureaucratic protocol, the human rights situation in countries of the former Soviet Union was featured prominently. Uta Zapf, OSCE PA’s Rapporteur on Belarus held a special briefing on the post-election crackdown in that country, where she invited Belarusian and Russian civil society activists. Kimmo Kiljunen, OSCE PA’s Representative on Central Asia, addressed the plenary session and later spoke at an NGO briefing about the results of the work the International Independent Commission for Inquiry into the interethnic violence which took place in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. Joining him at the briefing were NGOs and an anti-torture activist who urged eradication of torture in the OSCE area.

Second violent attack against Memorial employee in Moscow

Second violent attack against Memorial employee in Moscow

09.06.2011 13:15 msk Human Rights Russia

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply distraught to learn of yet another violent attack on human rights activist and employee of Human Rights Center Memorial, Bakhrom Khamroev, in Moscow on Monday June 6th 2011.

Kazakhstan: Don’t Extradite Uzbeks to Torture. Respect International Obligations

07.06.2011 13:15 msk Human Rights Kazakhstan

Kazakh authorities should not extradite 32 detainees to Uzbekistan, where they face a real risk of torture, ACAT-France, Amnesty International, the Association “Human Rights in Central Asia,” Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) said today. The 32 men, who came to Kazakhstan seeking asylum from religious persecution in Uzbekistan, are at risk of torture and ill-treatment if they are forcibly returned to Uzbekistan, the groups said.

Investigation of the “June events”: vengeance instead of justice

Investigation of the “June events”: vengeance instead of justice

08.04.2011 09:26 msk Human Rights Kyrgyzstan

On April 6, an NGO from Kyrgyzstan, called Human right protection center (HRPC) “Kylym Shamy”, has made a presentation of its monitoring report covering the court investigations of the tragic events of June 2010 in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Presentation has been given at a round table in Bishkek attended by lawyers engaged in the court trials. According to the report findings, verdicts of guilty have been made solely on the basis of defendants’ confessions beaten out of them; in certain cases, convicts have been sentenced differently based on their ethnicity; and no security has been provided within the courts.

Moscow based human rights group “Memorial” has published another report on political persecution in Uzbekistan

Moscow based human rights group “Memorial” has published another report on political persecution in Uzbekistan

23.03.2011 10:37 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

At least 868 people have been convicted under politically motivated charges in Uzbekistan in 2009 and 2010. Another 550-600 persons have been kept in short-term arbitrary detention. By the end of 2010, at least 105 suspects have been under investigation or in expectation of a trial. The report names at least 5 asylum seekers who have been extradited to Uzbekistan from Russia and 4 more persons extradited from Kazakhstan in 2010. These findings have been presented by Vitaliy Ponomarev, the Central Asian program director of the Moscow-based human rights center “Memorial” which has published its report, entitled “Political reprisals in Uzbekistan in 2009 and 2010”.

Uzbekistan: No journalist is immune from slander, defamation charges

Uzbekistan: No journalist is immune from slander, defamation charges

15.02.2011 08:53 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

The already short list of journalists, who are officially registered with the Uzbek ministry of exterior, has recently shrank. There were 38 such journalists last year, the renewed list now has 33. Given that some 80 foreign journalists were accredited prior to the Andijan events [in 2005], attempts to minimize the number of foreign reporters are obvious.

Uzbekistan: Justice Ministry denied the accreditation of another representative of Human Rights Watch

27.12.2010 12:54 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

On December 23, 210 the Justice Ministry of Uzbekistan officially denied the accreditation of Steve Swerdlow, the head of representative office of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and his wife Tandot Bhakti Dhirsinh. HRW representative learned about the denial of accreditation request through the letter, signed by deputy Minister G. Khidoyatov. It has to be mentioned that activities of this famous international human rights organization were shut down in Uzbekistan in 2007. In the opinion of independent human rights advocates, the accreditation denial is the proven method, used by Uzbek authorities in struggle against Human Rights Watch.

Uzbekistan: Ezgulik asked to the World Bank to correct the mistakes

Uzbekistan: Ezgulik asked to the World Bank to correct the mistakes

17.12.2010 10:03 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Uzbek Ezgulik human rights organization directed the report to Shigeo Katsu, vice-Presdient of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia, where it analyzed the World Bank project on support of rural enterprises with total budget of $67.96 million. The basis of this WB project is two questionable statements: allegedly, Uzbekistan is successfully running the agricultural reforms while the use of child labor is considered as separate and non-systematic violations. The human rights advocates characterize these statements of WB as "totally not reflecting the reality" and hope that their critics will be heard and produce open discussion in the search for solution of set problems.

Internet providers in Tajikistan blocked

Internet providers in Tajikistan blocked "undesired" mass media

11.10.2010 23:34 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

On October 11, 2010 the leading internet providers in Tajikistan blocked the access to the number of websites of local and foreign web media and Ferghana.Ru, Russian e-edition, specifically. This was done by the direct order from the government – the Ministry of transport and communications of Tajikistan that, in its turn, could not make such decision without the authorization from "his majesty" president. In the opinion of our experts, the introduction of Internet filtering in Tajikistan is motivated by the fear of Emomali Rakhmon’s regime before critics against him, emerging in concern to recent events in the republic.

Tortures in Uzbekistan: The position of former prisoner Sanjar Umarov produced sharp criticism from his "colleagues"

07.10.2010 16:44 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Uzbek dissidents and human rights advocates, representatives of civil sector sharply criticized the statements of Sanjar Umarov, the prominent businessman and former head of Sunny Coalition opposition movement, he shared in the interview with The New York Times. Specifically, the Uzbek dissidents were at least surprised to hear from Umarov that the tortures, he witnessed, "were not the result of state policy, but the private initiative of criminals, working for this government". In the opinion of many Uzbek civil activists, Umarov intentionally "distorts the reality": the real situation is different from what was described by former opposition leader.

Uzbekistan: Another journalist is expecting the trial

Uzbekistan: Another journalist is expecting the trial

15.09.2010 14:24 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

The government of Uzbekistan is going to judge Abdumalik Boboev, another independent journalist and correspondent of Voice of America. He is incriminated the following charges under Uzbek Criminal Code: slander, insult, illegal leaving abroad and illegal entrance to the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as Preparation and dissemination of information, threatening the public safety and order. The charges assume that the crime was committed "with the use of financial or other material assistance, received from religious organizations as well as from foreign states, organizations and citizens". Obviously, this implies the Voice of America radio station, financed by the government of USA. The journalist may be sentenced to 5-8 years of jail.

Uzbekistan: Famous family in Kokand became the victim of mafia security structures

Uzbekistan: Famous family in Kokand became the victim of mafia security structures

14.09.2010 17:20 msk Human Rights Uzbekistan

Ferghana.Ru office received the letter from Adilov’s family in Uzbekistan that became the victim of the despotism of corrupted officials from Kokand security structures. Looking at video camera they were not afraid to tell shocking story on how they were made bankrupt and humiliated, tortured and exposed to violence by the law enforcement officers; how they lost father and what they are going through today. Addressing general public through independent media, they hope to restore justice.

Tajik Mowgli wants to get the passport

Tajik Mowgli wants to get the passport

25.08.2010 10:15 msk Human Rights Tajikistan

The only document of 27-year old Vladimir Burkhanov from Tajik Khujand is the statement, produced by the Republican mental health clinic and confirming his stay in this medical institution for 13 years – 1990-2003. Tatiana Khatyukhina, the lawyer of the Khujand office of Center for human rights, personally managing Vladimir’s case, is working on proving his identity and hopes for the help of kind people and the Prosecutor General of the republic.

Other news


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Al Jazeera Uzbek leader remains jailed in Kyrgyzstan, 09.07.2014

EurasiaNet Uzbekistan: Minorities Taking Advantage of New Russian Citizenship Rules, 09.07.2014

Asia Times Karimov and Nazarbaev: 25 years on top, 27.06.2014

HRW UN Human Rights Council: Rights Defenders Behind Bars in Uzbekistan, 24.06.2014

Pakistan Observer Operation Zarb-i-Azb, 23.06.2014

Al Jazeera Can a homegrown university in authoritarian Kazakhstan incubate reform?, 20.06.2014

Middle East Online Thousands protest in Vienna against Erdogan visit, 19.06.2014

The Economist Pensions in Central Asia: Old and cold, 19.06.2014

Long War Journal US drones strike in North Waziristan, kill 6 'militants', 19.06.2014

RFE/RL Whereabouts Of Man Detained By Tajik Authorities Remain Unknown, 17.06.2014

NEWEUROPE About some trans-border problems in Central Asia, 16.06.2014

New York Times Afghans, Looking Ahead to U.S. Withdrawal, Vote With Guarded Optimism, 15.06.2014

Mining Global Centerra Gold Receives Approval from Kyrgyzstan for 2014 Mine Plan, 13.06.2014

Eurasianet Tajikistan’s Cash Cow: Enough Milk to Go Around?, 13.06.2014

RFE/RL Google Services Inaccessible In Tajikistan, 13.06.2014

The Guardian Suspected US drone strike kills 10 militants in north-west Pakistan, 13.06.2014

Carnegie.Ru Uzbek Terrorism: Myth or Reality?, 12.06.2014

Express Tribune Uzbek al Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for Karachi airport siege, 11.06.2014

oDR Turkmenistan – where everything in the garden looks rosy, 06.06.2014

Global Post Russian company chief detained in Uzbekistan, 20.05.2014

HRW Exposing the Andijan MassacreMarch, 13.05.2014

Vice News Afghan Asylum Seekers in Turkey Are Sewing Their Lips Together in Protest, 10.05.2014

Eurasianet After Gazprom Takeover, Southern Kyrgyzstan Marks 24th Day Without Gas, 07.05.2014

TOL The Lost Sounds of Maqom, 07.05.2014

Forum 18 UZBEKISTAN: Another 5 year prison term for sermons in mobile, 04.05.2014

Eurasia Review UZBEKISTAN: IN CENTRAL ASIA, PATRIOTIC RUSSIAN SYMBOL CLAIMED BY UKRAINE SEPARATISTS IS REVIVED, 30.04.2014

Vice News The Toxic Uzbek Town and Its Museum of Banned Soviet Art, 26.04.2014

Diplomat How Chinese Think About Terrorism, 19.04.2014

Interfax Beijing: Islamists control regional drug trafficking routes, 17.04.2014

Carnegie.Ru Will the Crimean Tatars Become Russia’s Headache?, 07.04.2014

Eurasianet Kazakhstan: Ex-Premier Makes Comeback in Choreographed Reshuffle, 03.04.2014

Guardian Sardar Ahmad: a courageous journalist who delivered exceptional coverage, 22.03.2014

Terror revisits Afghanistan Frontier Post, 21.03.2014

Carnegie.Ru The Russian Intervention in Crimea: Erdogan’s Dilemma, 15.03.2014

CNN Canada pulls out of Kabul as NATO winds down Afghan operations, 14.03.2014

TOL A Lesson in Uzbek for Milos Zeman, 13.03.2014

Al Jazeera The Long Arm of the Dictator, 13.03.2014

IWPR In Central Asia, Caution and Concern on Ukraine, 13.03.2014

Central Asia Online IMU units hide out in Badakhshan Province, 12.03.2014

Al Jazeera Turkish teen injured in protest dies, 11.03.2014

Eurasianet Uzbekistan’s Dictator Micromanages Officials’ Travel, 11.03.2014

The News York Times Frustration With Afghanistan, 05.03.2014

Al Jazeera Afghanistan elections: The myth and reality about ethnic divides, 04.03.2014

Washington Post 5 questions on Xinjiang separatists, Uighurs and the knife attacks at Chinese train station, 03.03.2014

Eurasianet Report: Military Aid To Central Asia Having Little Effect, 01.03.2014

Politico Magazine The Narcostate, 28.02.2014

EUCAM Is the EU downscaling political engagement in Central Asia?, 28.02.2014

US Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, 28.02.2014

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