Uzbekistan – Sentencing of human rights defender Ms Saida Kurbanova following a physical attack against her
On 7 December 2012, human rights defender Ms Saida Kurbanova was sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention for ‘hooliganism’, after being attacked by two women who alleged that the human rights defender had been the one to attack them. Saida Kurbanova is the head of the branch of the non-governmental organisation Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) in Pakhtakor district, Djizak region.
Saida Kurbanova was arrested on 7 December 2012 by the police as a result of the testimony of the two women who had attacked her. It is reported that following the arrest, the hard disk of Saida Kurbanova’s computer was confiscated.
The human rights defender was charged the same day with ‘minor hooliganism’ and sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention under Article 183 of Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Her family was unable to hire a lawyer due to financial difficulties. Since her arrest, Saida Kurbanova has been detained in the temporary detention facility of Pakhtakor police station.
On 10 December 2012 a representative of Pakhtakor police station reportedly refused to pass on a food parcel and warm clothes to Saida Kurbanova which her family had brought her. In addition, her release on 21 December 2012 is reportedly subject to her paying for the 15 days spent in the temporary detention facility.
Front Line Defenders is concerned about the use of orchestrated attacks on human rights defenders as a means to accuse them of being the instigator, and consequently charging them fines or sentencing them to administrative detention. Front Line Defenders believes that Saida Kurbanova’s sentencing is linked to her human rights activities and fears for her physical and psychological integrity and security while in detention.