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Kyrgyzstan

    September 23, 2016
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    Young artists in Kyrgyzstan sent Azimjan Askarov these drawings to cheer him up. On the right you can glimpse some of his own sketches.

     

    A few years ago, Azimjan Askarov was living with his wife and their two sons in a Kyrgyzstan (Keer giz stan) village. (To find where Kyrgyzstan is, see the map below.) 

    The family made homemade jams and pickled foods grown in their garden. They liked baking cakes together. They were looking forward to the wedding of one son. Azimjan was working as the director of an organization that monitors and defends human rights. 

    But everything changed in June 2010. 

    July 12, 2016

    The failure of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan to release 65-year old human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Azimjan Askarov is an egregious example of how Kyrgyzstan is failing to implement its international obligations, said Amnesty International.

    At an extraordinary review of his case that ended today the Supreme Court did not comply with the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee to release Azimjan Askarov. Instead, the Court cancelled his sentence and referred the case to Chui Regional Court for a new court review. The human rights defender will remain in detention pending his new trial.

    “It’s a missed opportunity for Kyrgyzstan to do the right thing by finally releasing a man who should never have been jailed in the first place. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court ignores Kyrgyzstan’s obligations under international human rights law,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, who attended the review on Monday.

    May 04, 2016

    The Kyrgyzstani authorities should without delay release and compensate prisoner of conscience Azimjan Askarov as ruled by the UN Human Rights Committee.  The Committee also ruled that his conviction should be quashed.

    Human rights defender Azimjan Askarov was sentenced to life imprisonment in September 2010 following a trial that did not meet international fair trial standards. Azimjan Askarov also reported that he was tortured while in police custody.

    Azimjan Askarov was accused of being an accomplice to the murder of a police officer during several days of violence that took place in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. Amnesty International believes that the charges against him were fabricated and politically motivated in an attempt to stop his legitimate human rights work. Azimjan Askarov is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

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