Uzbekistan: Denial of entry into Uzbekistan and deportation of Ms. Tolekan Ismailova

01/07/2013
Urgent Appeal

UZB 001 / 0713 / OBS 060
Obstacle to freedom of movement
Uzbekistan
July 1, 2013

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 was informed by reliable sources of the denial of entry into Uzbekistan and deportation of Ms. Tolekan Ismailova, a Kyrgyz citizen, Director of the Human Rights Centre “Citizens Against Corruption” (CAC), in Kyrgyzstan, and FIDH Vice President.

According to the information received, on June 24, 2013, Ms. Tolekan Ismailova was denied entry into Uzbekistan and informed she would be detained at the airport in Tashkent until further notice. She was kept in a closed and confined room, with limited access to amenities. She was deported from Uzbekistan the following day, on June 25, around noon. The border police officer explained to Ms. Ismailova that she was on a black list following her visit to Uzbekistan in 2009. This is when she accompanied Ms. Mutabar Tajibaeva, a well-known Uzbek human rights defender and former prisoner of conscience and currently President of the NGO Human Rights "Fiery Hearts Club". They visited Fergana Valley and Tashkent and were continuously followed by the Uzbek intelligence services, but were allowed to leave the country.

The Observatory recalls that Kyrgyz citizens do not need a visa to enter Uzbekistan. The Observatory therefore fears that such obstacles to Ms. Tolekan Ismailova’s freedom of movement merely aim at sanctioning her human rights activities.

The Observatory calls on the authorities of Uzbekistan to conform to Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Uzbekistan is a party since September 28, 1995 and establishes that “An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the Covenant may be expelled therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law [...]”, as well as to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Uzbek authorities and ask them to:

i. Put an end to the obstacles to the freedom of movement of Ms. Tolekan Ismailova, in particular remove her from the “black list”, as they seem to merely aim at sanctioning her human rights activities;

ii. Put an end to all forms of harassment against human rights defenders in the country or entering the country, and ensure that they are able to carry out their work freely without any hindrances in all circumstances;

iii. 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”;

iv. 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. Bahodir Matliubov, 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. Vladimir Norov, 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
· H.E Ms. Goulnora Karimova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, 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

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.

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