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16.02.2007

Ukrainian and Uzbekistan Authorities – crimes unpunished

   

14 February saw the anniversary of the deportation from Ukraine of eleven Uzbeks who had asked for political asylum in Ukraine.

Through the joint actions of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the State Committee on National Minorities and Immigration, and other state bodies, they were not only denied asylum, but were handed directly over to their persecutors, in violation of a number of Ukrainian and international laws and norms. In summer 2006 courts in Uzbekistan sentenced the men deported from Ukraine to periods of imprisonment from 3 to 13 years.

Each state body gave different reasons for the deportation, the unlawfulness of which has been confirmed by numerous human rights examinations and the conclusion of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice.

A year has passed, yet none of those guilty, then occupying leading positions in the SBU), the State Committee on National Minorities and Immigration have been punished and remain comfortably ensconced in the higher echelons of power.

Meanwhile the Uzbekistan authorities continue their repressive tactics. As reported yesterday, the most recent victim is the journalist and human rights researcher Umida Niyazova (http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1171583144)  against whom the transport prosecutor’s office in Uzbekistan has trumped up charges of “illegal border crossing” and “smuggling of subversive literature”. Observers are convinced that Niyazvoa’s arrest is punishment for dissident thinking. “She is no propagandist for fundamentalist ideas. She only criticized the policy of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov”, the independent political commentator and former Tashkent diplomat Tashpulat Uldashev asserts.

Since October 2006, human rights defender from Andijon Gulbakhor Turaeva has been constantly subjected to harassment and persecution from the National Security Service of Uzbekistan. In October she visited the German embassy in Tashkent and met with the Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee. Gulbakhor Turaeva witnessed the bloody events in Andijon in May 2005 and was one of the few who reported what she had seen to western correspondents.

On 14 January, Gulbakhor was arrested on the border between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and apparently accused of attempting to smuggle prohibited political literature into Uzbekistan. After being sent to Andijon, she was taken in for questioning by the National Security Service, and remains in custody.

Mutabar Tajibayev, leader of the Fergan human rights club was arrested in October 2005 before she was to leave for an international conference. In March 2006 she was sentenced by a court of the Tashkent region to eight years imprisonment on charges of “swindling, slandering the state authorities and an unsanctioned demonstration. Her lawyer has not been allowed to see her, and the sentence has had a noticeable effect on her health.

She is one of the many human rights defenders in Uzbekistan arrested after the tragic events of May 2005 in Andijon.

Calls have also been made for the release of Dilmurod Mukhiddinov, Svidzhakhon Zainabiddinov, Murad Dzurayev, Mamadali Makhmudov, Mukhammad Bekzhan and Ikhtier Khamrayev.

We are convinced that human rights violations touch each one of us and that we must all fight for justice and rule of law. We demand a public condemnations of the violations and crimes committed by both the Ukrainian and Uzbekistan authorities, and justice for both the victims of injustice and those who persecuted them.

Justice for all!  Freedom for all political prisoners!

The Initiative "Without borders!"

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