Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Torture and Other Assaults on Human Rights in OSCE Area

Posted by Info on 12/07/2011

Turkmenistan remains a totalitarian and isolated state. The government continues to suppress dissent and restrict freedom of movement of its citizens. The fate of the group of political prisoners who were accused of organizing an armed plot against former President Niyazov remains unknown.

In Uzbekistan, the government has used the cloak of the war against terrorism to expand its campaign of political repression, which has become part of the daily life in that country. According to various sources, in 2009-2010, at least 868 individuals were sentenced on politically-motivated charges, while hundreds were detained unlawfully. The total number of political prisoners is several thousand individuals, which is greater than the rest of the post-Soviet countries combined. Contrary to statements by government officials, torture remains endemic. Non-governmental organizations, media outlets and religious groups come under routine pressure by the government. Almost 30 civil society and democratic opposition activists, as well as journalists, languish in prison on fabricated charges.
Uzbekistan’s prevailing climate of political repression in combination with an authoritarian form of government, ineffectual economy, pervasive corruption and absence of justice are a destabilizing factor not only in that country, but the region as a whole.

Despite a number of investigations conducted by official bodies, various commissions and groups, much remains unclear about the root causes of the bloody interethnic clashes taking hundreds of lives which took place in 2010 following the overthrow of the despotic regime of President Kurmanbek Bakiev Investigations are being conducted with the help of various torture techniques, unlawful detentions, searches and confiscation of property, and in the overall spirit of anti-Uzbek discrimination.
Courts and defense lawyers have come under strong pressure, while verdicts handed down in cases related to the June 2010 clashes can hardly be characterized as fair. The case of the human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov has been sentenced to life in prison on fabricated charges.
Local authorities in southern parts of the country are known to use extortion on a massive scale against ethnic Uzbeks. Of particular concern is the central government’s apparent lack of political will to deal effectively with the lawlessness prevailing in Kyrgyzstan’s southern areas.

Kazakhstan continues to restrict political and religious freedoms, allowing the practice of closed trials,failing to prevent torture, and limiting access to independent defense lawyers under the excuse of safeguarding “state secrets.”
The extradition in June 2011 of 28 Muslim refugees back to Uzbekistan is a violation of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, demonstrating the fact that Kazakhstan is no longer safe for refugees from other post-Soviet countries, following the enactment in 2010 of the National Law on Refugees.

Several countries of Eastern and Central Europe create serious obstacles for asylum-seekers from Central Asia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: