Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

In Prison When Fighting For Human Rights In Uzbekistan Went Out Of Fashion

Posted by Info on 04/05/2010


Karakalpak journalist Salijon Abdurahmanov is serving his 10-year prison term for crimes he did not commit without any hope for release.
He has been in prison since 7 June 2008, when police stopped his car and “found” drugs that had been planted in his car. The journalist was first accused of using drugs, but after blood tests showed that he was not a drug addict, investigators replaced the initial charges with the charges of attempting to sell drugs.

Even though the case was trumped up and Abdurahmanov was Karakalpakstan’s only independent journalist, his case failed to invite strong international reaction.

His conviction coincided with the international community’s heightened interest in positive news about the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, as it had already been exhausted by trying to defence the victims of President Islam Karimov’s crushing of a rally in Andijan on 3 May 2005.
His arrest came several days after the international community’s achievement of the release of Fergana-based human rights activist Mutabar Tajibayeva on 2 June after two years and eight months in prison.

International human rights organisations, EU and German diplomats fought for her release, and German diplomats wanted the abolition of sanctions the EU imposed on Uzbekistan after the Andijan events. No-one wanted to tarnish this dialogue with Tashkent by raising the issue of Abdurahmanov’s detention and everyone ignored his conviction.

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