18 november 2018

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan: Activists demanding trial of Jasurbek Ibragimov’s killers arrested

20.11.2017 01:08 msk


Activists Irina Zaydman and Maria Legler have been detained and arrested for 15 days in Tashkent.

Both the activists were part of the group collecting signatures under letters demanding a fair trial for the murderers of Tashkent student Jasurbek Ibragimov. Detention procedures in the case of Zaydman and Legler were grossly breached, and secretive court hearings held without the participation of their lawyers.

An improvised public action to collect signatures under the petition "To punish those guilty of the death of Jasurbek Ibragimov," was held in Tashkent on 4 June in Bobur Park. About a hundred people gathered peacefully there to express their position. Tashkent residents handed over their petition to the representatives of the investigative bodies. Zaydman was one of the participants in this meeting. Ibragimov was a student of the Tashkent Medical College, and was brutally beaten in early May, and died in the hospital in a month later after undergoing a series of major surgeries. Photo © Khikmatulla Pulatov

Fergana News has learned from sources in law enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan that Zaydman was summoned by the police on 15 November after which she was detained. On the same day, her flat was searched. And on Thursday, 16 November, an urgent closed trial took place without providing legal representation of Zaydman, who was found guilty of charges under Article 244-1 of the Uzbek Criminal Code "making or keeping for distributing materials that threaten public safety and public order" and sentenced to 15 days in prison.

According to unconfirmed reports, she is currently being kept in temporary custody in the Tashkent "Panelny" district.

Irina Zaydman (at the window) in the courtroom during the hearings on the case of Jasurbek Ibragimov. Photo by Nuz.uz

Zaydman is a well-known volunteer in Tashkent, in particular, regularly collecting funds for cancer patients. Friends describe her as a sympathetic, honest, and proactive person.

According to Fergana News' data, Legler, the second activist, who was also involved in the public action on 4 June, was also arrested for 15 days, as she had collected signatures during the June campaign.

Fergana News called the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the phone numbers indicated on the official website of the ministry to find out information about those arrested. However, they refused to comment on anything.

Maria Legler while collecting signatures on 4 June 2017. Photo © Fergana News

The murder of Ibragimov had caused an unprecedented public outcry in early summer this year. Relatives of the deceased said there were several young men who beat him. However, only one person was prosecuted as a suspect and charged—Islombek Tulyaganov—who has now been sentenced to six years in a general regime prison.

A few days after the verdict, it became known that the lawyers of Tulyaganov were dissatisfied with the court’s decision. They appealed the conviction, stating that Ibragimov, had instigated the fight, and that the doctors who treated him are to blame too, as they supposedly had the opportunity to save the boy, but neglected their duties.

The first hearing of the court of appeal will be held on 1 December in the Tashkent City Court of Criminal Cases.

Fergana News Agency