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REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN:
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FACES 10 YEARS IN JAIL

Update info:
27 Nov 2015
Country:
REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
Subject:
Uktam Pardaev
Gender : M
Period:
1 Jan 2016
Distribution date:
27 Nov 2015
UA No:
264/2015

On 18 November, Uzbekistani human rights defender Uktam Pardaev was charged with fraud and bribery. He is facing 10 years in prison. He is being targeted for his legitimate human rights work.

Uktam Pardaev, chairman of the Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan of Dzhizakh (Jizzakh) region, in north-eastern Uzbekistan, was detained in the early morning of 16 November at his home in Dzhizakh. Eleven police officers searched his home and confiscated a camera, a computer, USB memory sticks and CDs. Police officers then took Uktam Pardaev to a temporary detention facility at Dustlik district police station in Dzhizakh region, where his is currently being held.

On 18 November, Uktam Pardaev was charged with fraud and bribery under articles 168 and 211 of the Uzbekistani Criminal Code, respectively. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison. According to Uzbekistani human rights defenders, nine people have testified against Uktam Pardaev saying that he had fraudulently taken money from them, promising among other things to get them a job and buy land. His lawyer was only able to see him on 20 November, four days after his detention and only after charges had already been brought against him.

Amnesty International believes that Uktam Pardaev’s detention is part of a pattern of ongoing and longstanding harassment of civil society activists and human rights defenders by the Uzbekistani authorities. Amnesty International believes his detention is politically motivated and intended to obstruct his legitimate work as a human rights defender. Uktam Pardaev is one of a handful of human rights defenders who remain and work in Uzbekistan. He investigates and writes articles for the international media covering human rights issues and has actively worked with human rights defenders inside and outside Uzbekistan. He has reported on the working conditions in the cotton fields. In January 2015, Uktam Pardaev applied for an exit visa, but the authorities would not issue him one. In addition, earlier this year Uktam Pardaev reported that his friends and members of his organization, and even people who asked him for help, were summoned for questioning by the Uzbekistani National Security Service and the police. According to Uktam Pardaev, some of those questioned were subjected to beatings.

UA: 264/15 Index: EUR 62/2916/2015 Issue Date: 20 November 2015

Take action

Please write immediately in Uzbek, Russian, English or your own language:

  • Expressing concern that the allegations and charges against Uktam Pardaev are politically motivated and linked to his legitimate human rights work;
  • Calling on the Uzbekistani authorities to ensure that Uktam Pardaev has full access to all legal safeguards in detention, in accordance with Uzbekistan’s obligations under international human rights law, including access to a lawyer of his choice and protection from torture and other ill-treatment;
  • Urging the Uzbekistani authorities to stop the harassment and intimidation of civil society and remind them of their responsibility to protect human rights defenders, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 JANUARY 2016 TO:
Prosecutor General
Ihtior Abdullaev
Prosecutor General’s Office
ul. Gulyamova 66
Tashkent 100047 Uzbekistan
Fax: +998 71 133 39 17
Email: info@prokuratura.uz
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General

Minister of Internal Affairs
Adham Ahmedbaev
Ministry of Internal Affairs
ul. Junus Rajabiy 1
Tashkent 100029 Uzbekistan
Fax: +998 71 233 89 34
Email: info@mvd.uz
Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:
Human Rights Commissioner
Ullugbek Mukhammadiev
Uzbekistan Avenue 16a Tashkent 100027 Uzbekistan
Fax: +998 71 239 81 36
Email: info@ombudsman.uz

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.