Kyrgyz rights advocates remind int’l donors: Askarov to be released
During a high-level conference on development at the Kyrgyz president’s residence near Bishkek on 10 Jul 2013, the Council of Human Rights Advocates made a statement on Azimjan Askarov’s imprisonment. A big number of international organizations, diplomatic corps and the entire government are present at this conference, which is discussing the allocation of donor assistance to Kyrgyzstan.
Tolekan Ismailova, director of the Bir Duyno Kyrgyzstan human rights center, said in her speech that Kyrgyzstan is still “a partially free” country in the freedom rankings. “You must urge the Kyrgyz authorities to release Askarov from prison,” she addressed the donor community. “He is a victim of torture and lack of due justice.”
A statement, circulated among the conference participants, reads, “Justice in transition period and the release of Azimjan Askarov, imprisoned for life, must be a firm and persistent condition for providing donor assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic”.
“All partners participating in the conference are from those countries which respect human rights and supremacy of law. We are hereby informing you that, since the violent change of power in 2010, the Kyrgyz Republic is yet to fulfill the entire set of justice measures in transition period and continues imprisoning the human rights advocate Azimjan Askarov, who was tortured.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked to Almazbek Atambayev about Mr. Askarov in 2012. In 2013, the UN committee for eliminating all forms of racial discrimination recommended the Kyrgyz government reconsider trials on June 2010 events, which were discredited by applied torture, and guarantee meeting the minimal standards of just court trials. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also expressed their concern with impunity of violence in Kyrgyzstan, in 2013.
The Council of Human Rights Advocates believes that the high-level conference on development in Kyrgyzstan must support efforts the UN, international human rights organizations and the German chancellor are applying to secure Mr. Askarov’s release. Development partners must insistently recommend the Kyrgyz authorities to immediately release Mr. Askarov, who was subjected to torture, and guarantee the entire set of justice measures in transition period is implemented. Otherwise, the money the taxpayers contributed in the conference participant-counties would be used to support tortures in Kyrgyzstan,” the statement reads.
Fergana International Information Agency