13 december 2017

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan: Continuing practice of extending imprisonment for ‘religious’ convicts

12.05.2017 16:16 msk

Ferghana


The situation of prisoners convicted for religious causes in penal colonies in Uzbekistan remains the most difficult. The Chair of the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan Surat Ikramov has distributed a regular report on 12 May which brought new facts of torture and unfounded charges under Article 221 (‘disobedience to the lawful requirements of the administration of the penal institution’) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan and extending imprisonment of three Mirzayev brothers.

Abdukarim Mirzayev born in 1964 was convicted to eight years of prison for ‘infringements on the constitutional system of the Republic of Uzbekistan’, ‘production or distribution of materials containing a threat to public safety and public order’, and ‘creation, leading, participation in religious extremist, separatist, fundamentalist or other prohibited organisations’ according to the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan.

In January 2017, a month before his release Abdukarim Mirzayev was charged with framed-up ‘wrong haircut style’ allegation and convicted to three more years of prison. Human rights defenders believe he is regularly tortured.

Akhmadillo Mirzayev born in 1983 was sentenced to five years of prison for ‘production or distribution of materials containing a threat to public safety and public order’ in 2006. It is known to human rights defenders that he was subjected to torture and degrading treatment by the investigator Abdurasul Aulov.

In December 2009, four months before his discharge Akhmadillo Mirzayev had been convicted with framed-up allegations for six years of imprisonment. And in January 2017 a month before his second to-be-released time he was convicted to four years and seven months for ‘not a tucked bed.’

According to human rights defenders, Akhmadillo Mirzayev was ‘his hands hung against a tree and poured cold water in ten degrees of frost in January 2017.’ He also was battered until losing consciousness, given half of designated portion of food, and forced to 10-12 hours of labour in brick factory.

Abduvohid Mirzayev born in 1971 had been convicted to 10 years of imprisonment for ‘infringements on the constitutional system of the Republic of Uzbekistan’, ‘production or distribution of materials containing a threat to public safety and public order’, and ‘Illegal organisation of public associations or religious organisations’ according to the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan, but was discharged in 2003 following the amnesty.

However, in 2006 he was charged and convicted to 11 years of prison for ‘creation, leading, participation in religious extremist, separatist, fundamentalist or other prohibited organisations’ according to the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan.

Abduvohid Mirzayev must have been released in April 2017, but his relatives have no information about where he is kept in custody.

Fergana News Agency