EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for February 19th, 2011

Kyrgyzstan Violence: Police Accused Of Ethnic Bias – on You Tube

Posted by Info on 19/02/2011

59-year-old Azimjan Askarov, a prominent human rights defender from southern Kyrgyzstan, talks on camera.

“When I refused to sign the paper accusing some people of distributing weapons the investigator hit me on the head with a pistol. Blood went everywhere and he told me to clean it up.”

The interview with Askarov was recorded in one of Bishkek’s prisons with the permission of the authorities by a local journalist last December and posted online.
During the 15-minute video, Askarov describes the beatings, humiliation and torture he was subjected to during three months of pre-trial detention.

Last autumn Askarov was accused of being one of the organisers of deadly inter-ethnic riots in southern Kyrgyzstan last June. He and four others were jailed for life. Their appeal went to Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court. However, earlier this month, a decision by the court was postponed indefinitely.

Askarov, whose years of human rights activism focused on alleged police misconduct and abuse, denied all the charges.
He is one of dozens of ethnic Uzbeks convicted for their alleged involvement in crimes committed during the June violence.

Posted in Kyrgyzstan | Leave a Comment »

Usbekistan: 13 People Sentenced For 10 years For Islamic Membership

Posted by Info on 19/02/2011

Thirteen people have been sentenced behind closed doors by an Uzbek regional court to between 6 and 10 years in prison for their alleged membership in an Islamic group. Several of the sentenced men are farmers. One was an imam.

The men were found guilty by the court in the southern province of Qashqadaryo of “encroachment on the constitutional order” and “dissemination of materials harmful to public safety and order.”
Uzbek prosecutors frequently bring those specific charges against Islamic dissidents.

The verdict reads: “the accused men were poisoned by the idea of an Islamic state and launched a series of crimes against the constitutional order and public security and morality.” All reportedly plead guilty to the charges.

Those jailed on such charges include popular soccer commentator Khayrulla Hamidov, who is also the author of a series of popular radio programs on being Muslim. He was sentenced last year to six years in prison.

Uzbek human rights groups say several dozen more people are awaiting trial on similar charges. At least 21 of them are from Qashqadaryo.

Local and international rights groups estimate that more than 10,000 practicing Muslims in Uzbekistan are currently serving long prison sentences, mostly on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and install a theocracy.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur said: …the definition of terrorism(extremism) is used in a selective, political or abusive way as a tool for government to stigmatise whoever they don’t like, such as minorities, trade unions, religious movements, etc.”

Posted in UN, Uzbekistan | Leave a Comment »

Three Tourists From Moscow Killed in North Caucasus Attack

Posted by Info on 19/02/2011

Unknown assailants on Friday opened fire on a van carrying tourists from Moscow in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, killing three people and two people were wounded.
An investigation is underway.

Was it the terrorist attack?

Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »