Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:37 GMT

Uzbekistan: Continuing acts of harassments against human rights defenders

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 26 May 2010
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Uzbekistan: Continuing acts of harassments against human rights defenders, 26 May 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c2b5dda1a.html [accessed 30 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Paris-Geneva, May 26, 2010. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), strongly condemns the continuing acts of harassments and arbitrary detention of several human rights defenders in Uzbekistan.

On May 13, 2010, while Uzbek human rights defenders intended to commemorate the repression of Andijan events in 2005, officers of the special forces blocked several human rights defenders inside their houses, in particular Ms. Salomata Boimatova, Ms. Zoe Yangurazova, Ms. Gavkhar Ismoilova, Ms. Elena Urlaeva and Messrs. Rasulzhon Tadzhibaev, Akromkhodzhe Mukhitdinov and Anatolii Baraksin, members of the "Human Rights Alliance", as well as of Mr. Bakhodyr Namazov, leader of the organisation "Committee of Prisoners of Conscience". Ms. Tatyana Dovlatova and Mr. Vladimir Khusainov, members of the "Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan", were also pursued by police officers who tried to impede them from reaching the place where the demonstration was being held.

On April 21, 2010, Ms. Dovlatova also faced an illegal police search at her residence. At approximately 5:45 pm, five men in plain clothes entered her house without a search warrant. They broke the lock of the fence and asked her to come to the Khamzinsky police department in Tashkent, despite the fact that she was recovering from a surgery. As she refused to follow them, policemen came back later and conducted a search without any witnesses and without any warrant. They also attempted forcefully to bring her to the police station.

The Observatory further recalls that nine members of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU), Messrs. Gaybullo Jalilov, Nasim Isakov, Norboy Kholjigitov, Khabibilla Okpulatov, Yuldosh Rasule, Azamjon Formonov, Jamshid Karimov, Zafar Rakhimov and Alisher Karamatov, along with human rights defenders Salijon Abdurakhmanov, Yusuf Jumaef, Agzam Turgunov, Dilmurod Saidov, Farkhad Mukhtaro, Abdurasul Khudoynazarov and Ganikhon Mamatkhanov currently remain arbitrarily detained because of their legitimate human rights activities.

Furthermore, Mr. Maxim Popov, Educator and Director of the Uzbek NGO Izis, who was detained on January 22, 2009 and convicted on June 9, 2009 to seven years of imprisonment for his work on HIV prevention, also remains in jail. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Popov had distributed booklets on AIDS prevention funded by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) which, according to the Uzbek authorities, were "categorically in contradiction with the mentality, the morality and moral foundations of society, religion, customs and traditions of the people of Uzbekistan". Surprisingly, on May 20, 2010, Ms. Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the Uzbek President Mr. Karimov, chaired an AIDS prevention charity event at Cannes Festival. During her intervention, she indicated to the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) that she agreed to "take measures to clarify the situation of Mr. Popov and continue to work with amfAR on his case", which we hope she will take upon soon.

The Observatory is deeply concerned about the situation of human rights defenders in Uzbekistan and calls upon the Uzbek authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of all above-mentioned human rights defenders. Likewise, the Observatory, demands the immediate and unconditional release of those who are arbitrarily imprisoned and to put an end to all acts of harassment against defenders, in accordance with international and regional human rights standards, in particular the 1998 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

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