Uzbekistan: Ongoing arbitrary detention of and new sentence against Mr. Ganikhon Mamatkhanov

07/05/2014
Urgent Appeal
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URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

UZB 001 / 0514 / OBS 034
Ongoing arbitrary detention / Judicial harassment
Uzbekistan
May 7, 2014

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Uzbekistan.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrary detention of and a new sentence of three years in a penal colony against Mr. Ganikhon Mamatkhanov, regional representative of the International Society for Protection of Human Rights in the Ferghana region of Uzbekistan.

According to the information received, on 29 March 2014, Mr. Ganikhon Mamatkhanov was sentenced to two years, six months and six days in a penal colony for having disobeyed orders of the prison administration. The hearing took place in the penal colony no. 64/47 in Navoi. According to the charges, he allegedly violated Article 221 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan (“disobedience to legitimate orders of administration of institution of execution of penalty”). On May 15, 2014, the Court of Appeal will review the decision.

The Observatory deplores the fact that Mr. Mamatkhanov already spent four and a half years in arbitrary detention, on the basis of unfair proceedings marred by a number of irregularities. In October 2009, he was sentenced to five years on charges of fraud and bribery (Articles 168 and 211 of the Criminal Code). Independent observers who monitored the trial concluded that the court failed to establish proof of Mr. Mamatkhonov’s engagement in alleged bribery. On March 10, 2014 he was due to be released from the Navoi penal colony. However, shortly before this date he was sent to a punishment cell because he had allegedly gone to the toilet three times without asking. On March 28, 2014, his family was informed that he was facing criminal charges for having violated the above-mentioned Article 221 of the Criminal Code. Since April 30, 2014, Mr. Mamatkhanov has been held in the pre-trial custody section of Prison 64/25 of Karaulbazar settlement in the Bukhara region.

The Observatory further deplores the gross violations of the fair trial principles. Mr. Mamatkhanov’s family was indeed not informed about the new trial and pre-detention and could not access him. Mr. Mamatkhanov was also denied access to a lawyer of his own choice. His family has managed to hire a legal counsel of their choice only for the hearing at the Court of Appeal, to take place on May 15, 2014.

The Observatory is deeply concerned by Mr. Ganikhon Mamatkhanov’s ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment, which seems to only aim at sanctioning his human rights activities, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. The Observatory also urges the Court of Appeal to thoroughly consider the case in accordance with fair trial principles.

The Observatory also deplores the ongoing arbitrary detention of several other human rights defenders in Uzbekistan, in particular that of Messrs. Azam Formonov, Nasim Isakov, Yuldosh Rasulov, Zafar Rakhimov, Gaybullo Jalilov, Solijon Abdurakhmanov, Dilmurod Saidov, Azam Turgunov and Abdurasul Hudoynazarov, and reiterates its calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

Actions requested :

Please write to the Uzbek authorities and ask them to :

i. Take all necessary measures to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Ganikhon Mamatkhanov, Khabibulla Okpulatov, Azam Formonov, Nasim Isakov, Yuldosh Rasulov, Zafar Rakhimov, Gaybullo Jalilov, Solijon Abdurakhmanov, Dilmurod Saidov, Azam Turgunov and Abdurasul Hudoynazarov as well as of all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan;

ii. Release immediately and unconditionally all above mentioned human rights defenders, since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to any act of harassment - including at the judicial level - against all above mentioned human rights defenders, as well as against all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan and ensure that in all circumstances they carry out their activities without any hindrance;

iv. Comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

v. Comply with the provisions of the Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the 2nd Conference on the Human Dimension of the Cooperation and Security Conference in Europe (CSCE) (1990), and guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by Uzbekistan.

Addresses :

• Mr. Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov President of Uzbekistan, ul. Uzbekistanskaya 43, Rezidentsia prezidenta, 700163 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fax: +998 71 133 139 53 25. E-mail: presidents_office@press-service.uz
• Mr. Adham Akramovich Ahmedbaev, Minister of Internal Affairs; ul. Junus Rajabiy 1; Tashkent 700029, Uzbekistan. Fax: + 998 71 233 89 34. Email: mvd@mvd.uz, info@mvd.uz
• Mr. Rashidjon Hamidovich Kodirov, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ul. Gulamova 66, 700047 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fax: +998 71 133 39 17 / 133 73 68. E-mail: prokuratura@lawyer.uz
• Mr. Abdulaziz Komilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, pl. Mustakillik, 5; Tashkent 700029, Uzbekistan. Fax: + 998 71 139 15 17. E-mail: rnews@mfa.uz
• Ms. Sayora Rashidova, Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Prospekt Uzbekistan 16a, 700027 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Tel: (+ 998 71) 239 81 36, Fax (+ 998 71) 239 81 36. E-mail: info@ombudsman.uz
• Senator Akmal Saidov, Natsionalny Tsentr po pravam cheloveka / National Centre for Human Rights, Mustakillik Maidoni 5/3, 700029 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan Fax: + 998 71 139 13 56 / 45 16, E-mail: ncpch@online.ru
• Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the United Nations in Geneva, International Centre Cointrin (ICC), Bloc D (7th Floor), Route de Pré-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 799 43 02. Email: uzbekistan@bluewin.ch
• H.E. Mr. Vladimir NOROV, Ambassador, Embassy of Uzbekistan to Belgium, Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt 99, B-1050, Brussels, Belgium. Fax. +32 2 672 39 46 Email: embassy@uzbekistan.be

Please also write to diplomatic representations of Uzbekistan in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, May 7, 2014

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
• Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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