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New names for new times: updated lists of prisoners imprisoned on politically motivated grounds in Uzbekistan

Ashampoo Snap 2016.11.29 21h34m46s 015
Since October 2017, 29 civil society activists have been released from prisons in Uzbekistan (see list below), giving a clear sign of a move towards liberalization of treatment of those who are critical of the authorities. However, these releases have not significantly changed the attitude of the ruling authorities in Uzbekistan towards the free expression of opinion, especially if criticism of the authorities is involved.
   
Our analysis shows that those released activists remain on confidential "black" lists kept by the intelligence services. Former prisoners are kept under supervision for longer periods of time than those provided for in the criminal-procedural code. By law, former prisoners are required to register with the internal affairs each month for the first year following their release, but in practice some former prisoners are told to do this for up to three years, during which time the threat of re-arrest for violating the terms of supervision (parole) regime remains present. 
   
These restrictions are imposed by the authorities in the name of crime prevention. However, in practice they impede former prisoners from moving freely, both within the country and abroad, even for urgent medical care. On 4 December 2017, former Member of Parliament Murad Djuraev  died in Uzbekistan. He was released from detention in 2015 after serving 21 years’ but was not given permission to leave Uzbekistan until October 2017, and did not manage to leave before he died. 
  
The grounds for release from detention of these activists was either early release or else because they had served their prison sentences. None benefitted from amnesty. 
   
Over the past decades in Uzbekistan, there have been no cases of former prisoners imprisoned on politically motivated grounds being rehabilitated or pardoned. It is therefore too early to regard the recent releases as a concrete sign of political reform, as the representatives of the Uzbek government would have the international community believe. 
   
The articles of the Criminal Code which are used against civil society activists and which were regularly used under former President Karimov against dissidents and critics and which are still in force today include:  
– 120 "homosexuality",
–  159 ("Violations of the constitutional system of the Republic of Uzbekistan"),
–  223 ("Illegal departure abroad or illegal entry into the Republic of Uzbekistan").
–  244-1 ("Making or distributing materials containing a threat to public safety and public order").
–  244-2 ("Creation, leadership, participation in religious extremist, separatist, fundamentalist or other prohibited organizations").
–  221 ("Disobedience of the lawful requirements of the administration of the institution for the execution of punishment"). This article is very often applied to prisoners serving politically motivated sentences with the aim of extending their term of imprisonment. The charges of violation of prison rules are often obtained from other prisoners in exchange for a reduction of their prison terms. According to our information few charges have been brought under this article since August 2017. 
   
Four people were convicted last year:
–  Akram Malikov, political critic, author of publications under the name "Abdulloh Nusrat") – convicted of “attempt on the constitutional order of Uzbekistan” Article 159 of criminal code and sentenced to six years imprisonment;
–  Rustam Abdumanopov, - political critic convicted of “attempt on the constitutional order of Uzbekistan” Article 159 of criminal code and sentenced to six years imprisonment;
–  Musazon Babadzhanov, serving a conditional sentence (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
–  Andrei Kubatin, 1984 serving an 11-year sentence (Oriental academic, associate professor) ;
Currently, independent journalists and correspondents of the "Fergananews" news agency, Bobomurod Abdullayev and Khayot Nasreddinov, are standing trial on what may believe to be politically motivated charges. Bobomurod Abdullyaev and Khayot Nasreddinov both told the court in March 2018 that they were forced to confess under duress and torture.
 
In order to achieve lasting reform on the political sphere, it is imperative that President Mirziyoyev’s government undertakes the following steps: 
1) Rehabilitate civil society activists, independent journalists and political activists who have been released from detention and those who are currently serving prison sentences in retribution for their peaceful professional activities; 
2) Ensure that those who are released from detention are allowed freedom of movement in order to seek necessary medical attention abroad;
3) Review the cases of civil society activists, independent journalists and those who were imprisoned on politically-motivated grounds in retribution for their peaceful activities and, should it be found that they were wrongfully arrested ensure that they receive adequate monetary compensation for moral and physical harm; 
4) Establish a commission to determine the personal responsibility of state representatives who issued prison sentences for politically motivated reasons, as well as those involved in torture and other forms of cruel and inhumane treatment;
5) To bring all officials involved in the practice of torture to justice in fair, transparent proceedings. 
6) To establish a truth and justice body including international experts to investigate past human rights violations and ensure that those found guilty are brought to justice in fair and transparent proceedings.
    
Civil society activists and journalists who remain in detention include: 
1. Fakhriddin Tillayev (Human Rights Center "Mazlum");
2. Rukhddin Fakhriddinov, (Theologian);
3. Dilorom Abdukodirova, (Witness of the Andijan tragedy, 2005);
4. Aziz Yusufov, (Independent journalist);
5. Akrom Malikov, (Critic, author of publications under the name "Abdulloh Nusrat");
6. Rustam Abdumanopov, (Political scientist);
7. Bobromud Abdullaev (Correspondent of the Fergananews News Agency);
8. Hayotjon Nasreddinov (Correspondent of the Fergananews News Agency);
9. Andrei Kubatin, (Oriental academic, associate professor);
10. Mirsobir Khamidkoriyev, (producer)
   
Released from 2014 to April 2018:
1. Azam Formonov (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
2. Mehrinino Hamdamova (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
3. Zhulhumor Khamdamova (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
4. Isroilzhon Kholdarov  (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
5. Nosim Iskhakov (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
6. Gaibulo Jalilov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
7. Matlyuba Kamilova, Human rights activist and lawyer;
8. Ganikhon Mamathanov (Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons of Uzbekistan);
9. Chuyan Mamatkulov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
10. Yuldash Rasulov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
11. Zafarjon Rakhimov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
12. Bobomurod Razzakov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
13. Agzam Turgunov, (Human Rights Center "Mazlum");
14. Dilmurod Saidov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
15. Solijon Abdurakhmanov, (Independent journalist);
16. Guarat Mikhliboyev, (Independent journalist);
17. Yusuf Ruzymuradov, (Correspondent of the newspaper "Erk" of the same name of the opposition party "ERK");
18. Muhammad Bekhanov, (Correspondent of the newspaper "Erk" of the same name of the opposition party "ERK");
19. Erkin Musayev, (former UN staff formerly worked in the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Defense, engaged in international cooperation programs with Western governments, including the United States and the EU);
20. Murod Djuraev, (Former Deputy of the Parliament of Uzbekistan);
21. Samandar Kukonov, (Former Deputy of the Parliament of Uzbekistan);
22. Kudratbek Rasulov, (Member of the People's Movement of Uzbekistan (NDU));
23. Rustam Usmanov, (Former Deputy of the Parliament of Uzbekistan);
24. Khayrullo Khamidov, (Journalist, poet and radio broadcaster, widely known for his religious sermons).
25. Bahrom Ibragimov - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
26. Davron Kabilov - employee of academic public magazine "Irmok";
27. Ravshanbek Vafoev - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
28. Botirbek Eshkoziev, - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
29. Davron Todjiev -  employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
  
Deaths in detention:
30. Akrom Yuldashev (Religious and spiritual leader known in Andijan and Ferghana Valley);
31. Nouraddin Djumanianozov, (Human Rights Center "Mazlum");
 
 
APPENDIX:
  
In accordance with paragraph "C" of the Resolution of the European Parliament on Human Rights in Uzbekistan (2014/2904 (RSP)) , in accordance with Rules 135 (5) and 123 (4) of the Rules of Procedure, a list of 34 prisoners was adopted, including public, political and religious figures, victims of the Andijan tragedy, who were deprived of liberty for politically motivated reasons.
   
The list included: Fifteen Human Rights Defenders:
1. Azam Formonov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
2. Mehrinino Hamdamova, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
3. Zhulhumor Khamdamova, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
4. Isroilzhon Hold'orov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
5. Nosim Iskhakov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
6. Gaibulo Jalilov,  (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
7. Nuraddin Djumanianozov,  (Human Rights Center "Mazlum");
8. Matlyuba Kamilova, Human rights activist and lawyer;
9. Ganikhon Mamatkhanov, (Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons of Uzbekistan);
10. Chuyan Mamatkulov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
11. Zafarjon Rakhimov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
12. Yuldash Rasulov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan - HCHU);
13. Bobomurod Razzakov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
14. Fakhriddin Tillayev, (Human Rights Center "Mazlum");
15. Agzam Turgunov, (Human Rights Center "Mazlum");
   
Five journalists:
16. Dilmurod Saidov, (Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan "Ezgulik");
17. Solijon Abdurakhmanov, (Independent journalist);
18. Guitar Mikhliboyev, (Independent journalist);
19. Yusuf Ruzimuradov, (Correspondent of the opposition newspaper "Erk";
20. Muhammad Bekhanov, Former editor of the opposition newspaper "Erk".
  
Four representatives of the political opposition:
21. Murod Dzhuraev, (Former Deputy of the Parliament of Uzbekistan);
22. Samandar Kukonov, (Former Deputy of the Parliament of Uzbekistan);
23. Kudratbek Rasulov, (Member of the People's Movement of Uzbekistan (NDU));
24. Rustam Usmanov, (Former Deputy of the Parliament of Uzbekistan);
     
Three religious figures:
25. Rukhiddin Fakhriddinov, (Theologian);
26. Khayrullo Khamidov, (Journalist, poet and radio broadcaster, widely known for his religious sermons).
27. Akram Yuldashev (Religious and spiritual leader known in Andijan and Ferghana Valley);
    
Seven other government critics and witnesses of the Andijan tragedy:
28. Botirbek Eshkoziev, -  employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
29. Bahrom Ibragimov - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
30. Davron Kabilov - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";";
31. Davron Tojiev - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
32. Ravshanbek Vafoev - employee of the academic public magazine "Irmok";
33. Dilorom Abdukodirova - Witness of the Andijan Tragedy of 2005;
34. Erkin Musayev, 1967 - UN employee, formerly worked in the Department of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Defense in the past, engaged in international cooperation programs with Western governments, including the United States and the EU.