16 october 2018

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan: Six years in prison in death of classmate

01.11.2017 18:02 msk


Jasurbek Ibrahimov
The controversy surrounding an 18-year-old student, whose death caused an unprecedented public outcry in Uzbekistan this summer, has ended with a conviction. The Mirabad District Criminal Court of Tashkent has sentenced Islombek Tulyaganov “to six years in a general regime prison,” the Fergana correspondent reported from the courtroom on 30 October. The defendant was found guilty of inflicting "deliberate serious bodily harm, which resulted in the death of the victim" according to the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan.

However, Nilufar Aliyeva, the mother of Jasurbek Ibrahimov, does not agree with the verdict and intends to file an appeal.

The only accused was Islombek Tulyaganov, who in his plea during the trial on 27 October “presented one thousand apologies" to the parents of Jasurbek, while complaining that he had not been told about the serious injuries the deceased sustained after the fight, and accused doctors at the city children's surgical hospital No.2 of causing the death of Jasurbek: according to Islombek, had the doctors established the correct diagnosis and provided proper medical care, Jasurbek would have lived.

Islombek asked the judges to take into account that he "did not have the malice or desire to fight Jasurbek Ibrahimov. I did not know that this would lead to such a tragedy. I have not been convicted before, and I believe that you would impose a just punishment," reported Newspaper.Uz, quoting Islombek.

Islombek Tulyaganov. Photo by News of Uzbekistan

Farhod Tahirov, Islombek's lawyer, also stated that the physicians were responsible for the death of Jasurbek. "The staff of the medical institutions treated their work indifferently, considering the situation with the life of a man as usual, and betrayed the Hippocratic oath, feeling that it was possible to save his life," he said.

Emphasising that Islombek had “absolutely no intention, no motive, no purpose" to harm the victim, the lawyer noted that Jasurbek provoked the fight, and Islombek only defended himself, according to News of Uzbekistan.

The lawyer of the injured party, Lola Ismailova, stated that the interrogation of the witnesses had not clarified the circumstances around the fight, noting that several people participated in the beating of Jasurbek. The nature of his injuries and their location on the deceased indicate that more than one person had beaten Jasurbek, as did the testimony of doctors and forensic experts. However, all the participants in the incident - Islombek Tulyaganov, Timur Baizitov, Mukhammad Pulatov (Ulmas), Bekzod Sobirov, Khurmat Hayitbaev, and Timur Tukhtaev - had been trying to mislead the preliminary investigation since the beginning.

Lawyers Farhod Tahirov and Lola Ismailova. Photo by Gazeta.Uz news agency

According to Ismailova, all of the students involved in the beating should be called to account, at least for not reporting the serious crime and protecting those involved, although they could be charged as accomplices because they knew where and for what reason they were going to fight, made no attempts to prevent the conflict, and were actually passive participants in the crime. The lawyer also proposed to reverse the decision of the senior investigator of the Tashkent prosecutor's office, made on 18 May, which ended the criminal proceedings against the students.

Ismailova noted that the charge was based only on the testimony of the direct participants in the incident that occurred on 3 May near school No.145, and witnesses gave confusing testimonies and contradicted the evidence gathered during the preliminary investigation. The investigation also had the opportunity to analyse the testimonies of other witnesses and review the video surveillance data made available from the college, as well as demand a printout of conversations from the mobile phones of the participants of the conflict, she added.

Jasurbek Ibrahimov, a second-year student at Tashkent Medical College, was brutally beaten by a group of his classmates in early May and died one month later in hospital, following a series of complicated operations.

On 4 June in Tashkent, an impromptu public action was held at the entrance to Bobur Park in Tashkent to collect signatures on a petition, calling on officials “To punish those guilty of the death of Ibragimov Jasurbek.” More than 200 people attended the unprecedented action, which, for the first time in years, was a gathering not coordinated by the authorities. Days before this action, a letter written by Jasurbek's mother's was shared throughout social networks, in which she listed the names of the alleged killers of her son, to assure they were known to the public, however, none of those named have yet to be brought to justice. Moreover, she said Tashkent Medical College management and staff, where Jasurbek studied, protected the young criminals, in collusion with their parents.

Within days, more than 15,000 people signed the virtual petition, entitled, “To punish the perpetrators of the death of Ibragimov Jasurbek”, published on the Change.org website. At present, the petition has collected more than 20,200 signatures.

Fergana News Agency