Uzbekistan: Free prisoner of conscience Dilorom Abdukadirova
Dilorom Abdukadirova is serving an 18-year sentence in Tashkent Women’s Prison after an unfair trial. She was tortured and ill-treated in pre-trial detention. Her family fears she may still be at risk.
In May 2005, Dilorom Abdukadirova joined in a mass demonstration in Babur Square in the centre of Andizhan. The protesters hoped the president would meet with them and listen to their concerns about the economy. They were greeted instead by security forces using live ammunition. Hundreds were killed. Dilorom was among 500 protesters who managed to escape from the square and flee to Kyrgyzstan on foot. Eventually she was granted asylum in Australia in 2006.
The Uzbekistani authorities assured Dilorom and her family that nothing would happen if she returned home. In January 2010, she set off to reunite with her husband and children. However, she was immediately detained upon arrival at Tashkent airport because she did not have a valid exit permit in her passport. She was questioned for four days and released after being charged with “illegal exit” from Uzbekistan.
Dilorom was detained again in March 2010. For two weeks she could not see her family or a lawyer. In April she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and exiting Uzbekistan without a travel permit.
Her family said she looked emaciated in court, with bruises on her face. They think she was tortured and forced to appear without her hijab. After a secret trial in Tashkent Women’s prison in 2012, her sentence was extended by eight years for allegedly “deliberately breaking prison rules.”
Amnesty International believes that Dilorom was sentenced for taking part in the 2005 Andizhan demonstration, and considers her a prisoner of conscience.
Please send polite letters to the President of Uzbekistan calling for the charges to be dropped and Dilorom Abdukadirova to be immediately and unconditionally released. Further urge that her allegations of torture be promptly and impartially investigated and anyone found responsible brought to justice.
President Islam Karimov
ul. Uzbekistanskaia 43
Salutation: Dear President
Prosecutor General’s Office of Uzbekistan
ul. Gulyamova 66
Fax: +998 71 133 39 17
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General