Kyrgyzstan: Life-long imprisoned rights activist trial postponed indefinitely
On 8 February, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan resumed the consideration of the appeal filed by the human rights activist Azimjan Askarov and other defendants charged with instigating disorder in Bazar-Korgon District in June 2010.
Before that, the judge ruled on 27 January to resume the trial on 8 February, since the defense had significant claims against investigation and judicial bodies, and that required time.
Mr Askarov’s absent advocate, Mr Nurbek Toktakunov, has left a solicitation for the court’s consideration which reads his appeal to the government and State Punishment Enforcement Service (SPES) to take into consideration the fact that there is only one preliminary detention facility available in southern Kyrgyzstan based in Osh. Because Jalalabad does not have such a facility, suspects are kept at temporary detention cells at district directorates of the internal affairs ministry. Mr Askarov has spent five months at the Bazar-Korgon detention facility, which violated his right for appropriate detention conditions. Mr Toktakunov demands an address is issued for the government and the SPES regarding the absence of the relevant facility.
Another advocate, Mr Kayrat Zagibayev, supportive of his colleague’s appeal, added that the detainees were deprived of the right to appeal to court while they were at the detention facility. He also mentioned the facility suffers from poor sanitary and hygiene and other necessarily conditions which violate not only the national legislation but internal law as well. According to Zagibayev, detainees can be interrogated at any moment, which is also a violation of their rights.
Other participating advocates supported the solicitation as well and mentioned other violations taking place in the detention facility in question. For instance, they said, torture, beating and intimidation are “absolute truth.”
In response, Prosecutor Bakirov said he was unable to respond immediately to the advocates’ solicitation and doing so would require an investigation.
Judge Perizat Abakirova ruled to postpone the trial indefinitely until the solicitation is responded to.
“This is an official solicitation and we must respond. Investigations must be launched into conditions in all preliminary detention facilities. Therefore, we will need to wait until official letters are sent to these facilities and official responses are received,” Judge Abakirova said.
A special commission will be dispatched to scrutinize the situation at the Bazar-Korgon interior directorate’s detention facility.
Yekaterina Ivashchenko. Fergana International News Agency