PETITION OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVISTS
ON THE SITUATION OF THE UZBEKISTANI HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER ELENA URLAEVA
10 April 2012
On April 5 a well-known human rights activist Mrs Elena Urlaeva, a leader of the unregistered human rights group “The Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan” was placed into a psychiatric clinic # 1 in Tashkent. According to her family members and colleagues, Urlaeva started behaving in an absolutely inadequate way soon after she returned from a recent business trip to Turkey. It has been reported that the Uzbek court based on the appeal of Urlaeva’s family members has passed a decision on putting Elena Urlaeva into the local psychiatric clinic for an obligatory medical treatment. At present Urlaeva’s relatives and colleagues tell that her health condition has normalized and she is feeling better.
We, the representatives of the civil society, are seriously concerned about Urlaeva’s fate, and hereby sign this petition in order to draw the attention of the international organizations and representatives of the democratic countries to the human rights activist’s situation and call on the following actions:
- The representatives of the regional office of the International Committee of Red Cross, embassies of the western democratic countries, in particular the Embassies of the European Union, the United States of America, Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and others, should immediately visit Mrs Urlaeva in the psychiatric clinic to provide a moral support to her, her relatives and colleagues;
- Take all possible measures to establish true reasons of unexpected psychiatric problems the human rights activist started facing;
- Taking inquiries into what type of medical treatment Mrs Urlaeva is undergoing in the psychiatric clinic, to what degree such medical treatment is needed for improving her health and what consequences it might have for her health in the future;
- Regularly visit and keep an eye on the health conditions and personal integrity of the human rights activist while she is kept in the psychiatric clinic if she will have to spend some time at this facility for improving her health;
- In case of absence of a solid ground for keeping the human rights activist in the psychiatric clinic further assist in annulling the court decision which ordered her psychiatric treatment and in her immediate release.
The following facts indicate that placing Elena Urlaeva into the psychiatric clinic might be used as a punishment for her human rights activity:
Elena Urlaeva has been involved in defending the rights and interests of alleged human rights victims in Uzbekistan for more than 10 years. Obviously most of the perpetrators in the cases of victims Urlaeva represented are the government officials. Urlaeva has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Uzbek authorities for many years, known for her critical reports, interviews and statements from the international tribunes.
It can be suggested that as a result of her active civic virtue and human rights activity Elena Urlaeva has made enough enemies. She has been subjected to different forms of persecutions many times: e.g. beatings, threats, humiliations, denial of exit visas, etc.
According to Urlaeva part of the persecutions are addressed to her close relatives: her adopted son Mukhammad and husband Mansur Mashurov. In January 2012 Mirzo Ulugbek district hokimiyat (the local executive power or administration) of Tashkent city attempted to take away her adopted son from her and place him into the orphanage. Only after a series of protests by Urlaeva and her colleagues the authorities have ceased their attempt to deprive the activist from her son. In March 2012 Urlaeva’s husband Mansur Mashurov was forcedly taken away to a meeting with the local police. He returned home afterwards very drunk and embarrassed, started demanding Urlaeva stop her human rights activity and going on the protests against the authorities. Then Mansur beat Urlaeva. Urlaeva thinks the city police has set her husband against her.
Urlaeva has previously been placed into the psychiatric clinic for obligatory medical treatment for several times under the order of the Uzbek courts. Urlaeva and her colleagues are confident that the Uzbek authorities have used forced psychiatric treatment against her for her dissident views. In her recent interview in December 2011 the human rights activist has already warned that she might be placed into the psychiatric clinic (see. “Position. Without censorship – Forced psychiatry in Uzbekistan as a method of suppression for dissent”, December 2, 2011, http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=ru&cid=35&nid=18523). She mentioned in her interview that the Uzbek court has already prepared the draft decision on placing her into psychiatric clinic. According to her she would have to undergo a group of psychiatrists should watch her condition for six months and then present the results of their investigation to the court. The court then was expected to pass a decision on whether the activist should be under a forced psychiatric treatment or not. It should be mentioned that this is not the only case when forced psychiatric treatment is used against the representatives of the Uzbekistani civil society.
We call on all stakeholders to whom this petition addressed not to ignore our suggestions and call on Elena Urlaeva’s situation.
List of persons who signed this petition:
- Sukhrobjon Ismoilov – leader of the Human Rights Policy NGO “Expert Working Group”, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Mutabar Tadjibaeva – leader of the international human rights NGO “The Club of Courageous Hearts”, Paris, France
- Yuriy Djibladze – president of the Center for Development of Democracy and Human Rights, a member of the Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of Russia, a member of Coordination Coundil of the Civic Forum of the European Union – Russia, Moscow, Russia
- Bakhodir Choriev – leader of public movement “Birdamlik”, the U.S.A
- Umida Niyazova – leader of the human rights NGO “Uzbek-German for Human Rights”, Berlin, Germany
- Bahadir Namozov – leader of the Committee for Release of Prisoners of Conscience, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Vasila Inoyatova – leader of “Ezgulik” Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- Ulugbek Haydarov – independent journalist, Vancouver, Canada
- Hasan Temirov and Muhammadsolih Abutov – leaders of NGO “Tayanch”, Sweden, Germany
- Bashorat Eshova – independent human rights activists, Switzerland
- Kamoliddin Rabbimov – leader of think tank ”LI.GI.IS”, Sable, France
- Gulshan Karaeva – leader of Kashkadarya branch of Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Karshi, Uzbekistan
- Toshpulatov Yuldashev – independent political scientist
- Farkhodhon Mukhtarov – independent human rights activists
- Bahodir Musaev – independent political scientist
- Gafur Yuldashev – independent journalist
- Bahodir Uzakov – independent human rights activist
- Abdujalil Boymatov – President of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan
- Salomatoy Boymatova – member of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan
The list is open for signatures for all those who know and support Elena Urlaeva
Contact information for this petition:
Mutabar Tadjibaeva – Paris, France
Tel. mob. +33760183844, +33679233927
Sukhrobjon Ismoilov – Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Tel.mob. +99890 1895999