Threat against Memorial human rights worker
The Russian Memorial Human Rights Centre reports that Vitaly Ponomarev, Head of its Central Asia Programme has received emails threatening to kill him.
The letters, in Russian and Uzbek were sent with an interval of three minutes from three different addresses. The unsigned letters threatened to kill Ponomarev himself and, if he came to the South of Kyrgyzstan, members of his family in Moscow also.
An analysis has shown that the letters were sent from one IP address in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Memorial believes it is most likely that the threats are in response to a press release from Memorial in December which strongly criticised the activities of the Uzbekistan Security Service in the Russian Federation.
Memorial has approached both the Federal Security Service [FSB] and Moscow Prosecutor’s Office demanding that an investigation be carried out and effective measures to find and punish the culprits taken.
One of Mr Ponomarev’s colleagues, Bakhrom Khamroyev was assaulted 18 months ago. Those responsible have not been found.