Uzbekistan: New charges against Mr. Azamjon Formonov 15 days before his release from prison after 9 years

Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the transfer of Mr. Azamjon Formonov, former Chairman of the Syrdarya regional branch of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU), from his prison cell to a pre-trial isolation facility, 15 days before his release from prison.


New information
UZB 002 / 1111 / OBS 131.1

Arbitrary detention / Judicial harassment /
Torture and ill-treatment
April 20, 2015

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), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Uzbekistan.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the transfer of Mr. Azamjon Formonov, former Chairman of the Syrdarya regional branch of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU), from his prison cell to a pre-trial isolation facility, 15 days before his release from prison. Mr. Formonov has been arbitrarily detained for 9 years at the U/Ya 64/71 Special Regime Colony in Jaslyk (Republic of Karalpak), one of the worst prison in Uzbekistan, known as a “death zone” because of its severe climate and extremely tough detention conditions.

According to the information received, on April 12, 2015, Mr. Azamjon Formonov was transferred from his cell to isolation facility No. 9. Two days later his wife was informed that a new criminal case had been filed against Mr. Formonov under Article 221 of the Criminal Code for alleged “violations of prison rules”. If convicted Mr. Formonov faces up to three additional years of detention.

On April 29, 2015, Mr. Formonov was due to be released from prison after having served his prison term. Charged with “attempted blackmail” and tried without the presence of either his attorney of choice or a public defence attorney, Mr. Formonov was sentenced in 2006 to nine years in prison. Allegations of ill-treatment and torture against Mr. Formonov were reported since the beginning of his detention [1] (see background information).

The Observatory strongly condemns the continued harassment of Mr. Formonov. The practice of accusing human rights defenders of alleged "violations of prison rules" is recurrent and has been used several times, preventing the release of Mr. Zafar Rakhimov and Mr. Nasim Isakov, about whom very little information is available to date.

The Observatory urges the Uzbek authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Azamjon Formonov as his detention seems to merely sanction his human rights activities.

Furthermore, the Observatory further deplores the continued detention of four other members of HRSU, namely Messrs. Nasim Isakov, Zafar Rahimov, Yuldash Rasulov, and Gaybullo Jalilov, who remain arbitrarily detained, despite the serious deterioration of their health, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

Background information:

Mr. Formonov was arrested on April 29, 2006, together with another human rights defender, Mr. Alisher Karamatov, for refusing to stop their human rights activities.

On January 22, 2010, Mr. Formonov was transferred for a few days to the remand centre U/Y a 6/SI-9 in Nukus (Republic of Karakalpak) to be hidden from the International Red Cross, which had organised a visit to monitor conditions in the prison, to prevent him from denouncing the abuses he had suffered from. He was reportedly tortured on several occasions due to his human rights work.

On November 16, 2011, Mr. Azamjon Formonov was severely beaten up and tortured because he had refused to write an “explanatory letter”, stating that he had never been tortured or beaten during his detention in the colony, that his rights had always been respected and that his health was good.

He was tortured during an hour by the Head of the Operations Division of the prison, Mr. Chavkat Vaysnyozov, who tied his hands before kicking him in the back, stomach and head. According to Mr. Formonov, a colleague of Mr. Vaysnyozov, Ms. Ablullaeva, was also present and observed the scene while he was tortured. He was threatened to death and coerced to write the letter, including through threats against his wife and children. He was accused to be an enemy of the nation and an agent of the European Union and the United States.

In September 2014, Ms. Ozoda Yakubova, the wife of Mr. Formonov, submitted a complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning the arbitrary character of her husband’s detention and violations of his rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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 Messrs. Azamjon Formonov, Nasim Isakov, Zafar Rahimov, Yuldash Rasulov and Gaybullo Jalilov, immediately and unconditionally as their detention is arbitrary;

iii.Put an end to any act of harassment - including at the judicial level - against all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan, including Mr. Azamjon Formonov;

iv.Conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned allegations of torture and ill-treatment in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by the law, in accordance with international human rights law, in particular theConvention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishments;

v.Ensure that an effective remedy as well as the right to full redress, including compensation, is granted to Mr. Azamjon Formonov;

vi.Comply with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular:
 its 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 its 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” ;

vii.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.

Addresses :

· Mr. Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov President of Uzbekistan, ul. Uzbekistanskaya 43, Rezidentsia prezidenta, 700163 Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Fax: +998 71 133 1395325. E-mail:
· Mr. Adham Akramovich Ahmedbaev, 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. Abdulaziz Komilov,, 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:
· Mr. Javohir Nurmetov, 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:
· 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:

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


Paris-Geneva, April 20, 2015

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.

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