Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Promised Immunity Andijan Refugee Arrested After Return to Uzbekistan

Posted by Info on 26/03/2010

Abduqodirova and her brother Muhammadjon Muminov fled to Kyrgyzstan in 2005 for fear they would be swept up in the mass arrests that followed violence in May that year, when government troops opened fire on a crowd of protesters, killing and wounding several hundred.

Abduqodirova and Muhammadjon Muminov were able to relocate from Kyrgyzstan to Australia as political refugees, but the Uzbek authorities succeeded in enticing her back with promises of immunity.

“In early 2010, the law enforcement agencies called my sister’s husband and told him that our president [Islam Karimov] had pardoned Dilorom a long time ago. They said that Dilorom was welcome to return home to her family, where besides her husband she has four children; and that no one would touch her or persecute her.
“So she came back to Uzbekistan.”

On March 12, she was arrested and now also faces more charges of “assisting extremists” and “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”, for which the law prescribes prison terms of 15 to 20 years.
The Uzbek state has provided Abduqodirova with a defence lawyer, who was unavailable for comment as she was away on a business trip. The authorities have refused to allow a different lawyer to be hired.

“The prosecution service said that the investigation was now over and the case would be sent to court without a lawyer,” said Muminov. That means she is going to stand trial with no defence lawyer.

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