Violent assault against Ms. Elena Urlaeva - UZB 002 / 0409 / OBS 064

Urgent Appeal

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory was informed by reliable sources about the violent assault against Ms. Elena Urlaeva, a member of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan.

According to the information received, on April 15, 2009 around 9 am, Ms. Elena Urlaeva was assaulted in Tashkent as she was leaving her home with her five-year-old son. Two young men wearing sunglasses beat her in the head and in the chest. They further insulted her and asked why she had not left Uzbekistan already. One of the assailants also made cuts in the jacket she was wearing. Her five-year-old son witnessed the entire attack.

Immediately after the attack, Ms. Urlaeva called the police [1] and an ambulance. She was diagnosed with contusions on her head and her chest, as well as high blood pressure.

The Observatory is deeply concerned about Ms. Urlaeva’s physical assault, in a context in which human rights defenders are repeatedly targeted and threatened by the Uzbek authorities. To that extent, the Observatory recalls that Ms. Urlaeva has been subjected to various acts of harassment in the past years [2].

In the light of these worrying elements, the Observatory urges the Uzbek authorities to carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into all the above-mentioned facts, in order to identify those responsible for the assault against Ms. Urlaeva, and bring them in the shortest delays before a competent and impartial tribunal.

As a participating State of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Observatory recalls that Uzbekistan recognises “the need for particular attention, support and protection for human rights defenders by the OSCE, its Institutions and field operations, as well as by participating States” [3].

The Observatory further urges the European Commission Delegation as well as European Union (EU) Member-States embassies in the Uzbekistan to call upon the Uzbek authorities to comply with the relevant international norms and standards, in particular the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and take action on the above-mentioned elements, in line with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Uzbekistan to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Urleava, all members of the Human Rights Alliance as well as all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan;

ii. Order a immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned attack, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan, and ensure in all circumstances that they be able to carry out their work without unjustified hindrances;

iv. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as with Article 12.2 (“the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and 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 on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by Uzbekistan.

vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the Uzbekistan.


· Mr. Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov President of Uzbekistan, ul. Uzbekistanskaya 43, Rezidentsia prezidenta, 700163 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fax: +998 71 133 1395325. E-mail:

· Mr. Bahodir Matliubov, Minister of Internal Affairs; ul. Junus Rajabiy 1; Tashkent 700029, Uzbekistan. Fax: + 998 71 233 89 34. Email:,,

· Mr. Rashidjon Hamidovich Kodirov, General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ul. Gulamova 66, 700047 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fax: +998 71 133 39 17. E-mail:

· Mr. Vladimir Norov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, pl. Mustakillik, 5; Tashkent 700029, Uzbekistan. Fax: + 998 71 139 15 17. E-mail:

· Ms. Sayora Rashidova, Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, ul. Xalqlar Dostligi 1, 700035 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fax: +998 71 139 85 55. E-mail:

· 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:

· Head of the Nukus City Department of Internal Affairs (police), Glave GOVD, Gorodskoi Otdel Vnutrennikh Del, ul. Biruni, g. Nukus, AR Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

· H.E Ms. Goulnora Karimova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the United Nations in Geneva, International Centre Cointrin (ICC), Bloc G (7th Floor), Route de Pré-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 799 43 02. Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Uzbekistan in your respective countries as well as to the EU diplomatic missions or embassies in Uzbekistan.


Paris-Geneva, April 23, 2009

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

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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