of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Geneva
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva
Commissioner Council of Europe for Human Rights, Strasbourg
Amnesty International, London
Fédération internationale des droits de l’homme, Paris
Human Rights Watch, New York City
International Crisis Group, Brussels
International Federation of Journalists, Brussels
International association on protection of a freedom of speech, Toronto
International League of Human Rights, New York City
World Organisation Against Torture, Geneva
Front Line, Dublin
Action by Christians Against Torture, Paris
Political prisoner Murod Juraev (born 1952, Town of Muborak), being in prison since 1994, should have been released from jail on August, 14th, 2009. But he did not leave the prison, a court has once again sentenced him to a new term – 3 years of imprisonment. His wife Holbeka Juraeva has told about it to the human rights activists in Kashkadarya Region.
As it usually happens to political prisoners, Murod Juraev have been accused of ostensibly braking internal discipline (regulations) of the colony. «My husband, according to the servicemen of the colony, just read a newspaper at night», – Holbeka Juraeva has told with deep grief in her voice.
This brutal act of the authorities is not new to anybody as the addition of new terms to political prisoners and to the people convicted of religious motives is a widespread phenomenon in Uzbek prisons.
The only purpose of these inhuman acts is not to release from prisons the people whom the authorities consider illoyal to them, to definitively break their will or, that is even worse, eventually, to destroy them physically.
Before the authorities some time kept Murod Juraev in an investigatory cell the ?? 64/??-7 colony in the City of Kattakurgan in the Samarkand Region, having transferred him there from the colony ?? 64/48 in the Town of Zarafshon in the Navoiy Region. Then on the11th of August, he was sent to Tashkent keeping him in an investigatory cell of the ?? 64/??-1 colony, more known under the name of “Tashturma” – Taskentjail.
The added new term to Murod Juraev is the third consecutive time. Shortly before the termination of the first term in 2003 Murod Juraev was sentenced on a far-fetched charge under article 221 of the Criminal Code of the Republic Uzbekistan – «Disobedience of the legal requirements of the administration of the colonies of execution of punishments» – for three years of imprisonment.
The same has occurred again in 2006 when the termination date of the last sentence approached: more three years of punishment was added to the prisoner’s term under the same article 221 of the Criminal Code.
In the late eighties of the last century Murod Juraev held the post of Mayor of Muborak in the Kashkadarya Region, in 1990 was elected a deputy of Parliament of Uzbekistan.
In 1989 as far back as the Soviet regime Murod Juraev, not only in the history of Uzbekistan, but also the USSR, by his decree as the Mayor for the first time dismissed the Muborak city organisation of the ruling Communist Party. The Communist Party leader of Uzbekistan of that time Islam Karimov did not forgive Murod Juraev’s political step.
In 1991 with the active participation of Murod Juraev the “Erk” (Freedom) Democratic party of Uzbekistan was created and he became one of its leaders. By the end of 1993 entire Uzbek democratic opposition was suppressed by the most severe repressions of the Karimov regime. Tens of the leaders and active workers of the party “Erk” including Murod Juraev, had been arrested and jailed, ostensibly, for attempting to organise a revolution.
In 1993, having left Uzbekistan to a foreign contry, Murod Juraev has organised the publication of the party newspaper “Erk”, and also its distribution in Uzbekistan. Special services of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan literally followed Murod Juraev’s heels and his party fellows, and at last, having tracked them down in the City of Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan of that time.
According to political prisoner Murod Juraev’s wife his health condition is depressing, it has strongly worsened in the years of his imprisonment. He has lost almost all of his teeth, the nose has lost the ability of tactile sense, pus constantly follows from nasal bosoms, throughout long time he is suffering incessant headaches. Severe tortures to which he was subjected, have made matters took such a turn.
We, only by one example, by the example of Murod Juraev, have shown the hostile attitude of the authorities of Uzbekistan to the political opposition, human rights movement, independent mass media and in general to any heterodoxy.
Now the country is evolving towards totalitarianism of fascist type, and the power has achieved its objective, having transformed Uzbekistan into a huge, almost silent concentration camp.
The fact that Umida Niyazova, the journalist and famous human rights advocate, had been convicted for the information available on popular web sites and kept for the research purposes in the files of her laptop, is unprecedented even in this police state.
Taking into account that it is occurring against a background of toughening of censorship, the growth of interdictions for departures from the country, scope of the repressive measures, continuing tortures in prisons (so, because of intolerable conditions in prisons earlier jailed dissidents Mamadali Mahmudov, brothers Rashid and Muhammad Bekjanov, Sanjar Umarov, and also human rights activists Alisher Karamatov and Norboy Holjigitov, journalist Jamshid Karimov are on the verge of death), this regime should be qualified as one of the most cruel in the world.
At the same time ambiguity and double standards are distinctly looked through in the approaches of some democratic states and democratic institutes as the United Nations, EU, OSCE to the authorities in Tashkent. When it concerns their mutual relations with such violent political regimes as in Uzbekistan, we are convinced that at least discharging of political prisoners in this country would become the business not only of the Uzbek people, but also the world democratic community.
The authorities of Uzbekistan by police methods have limited to a minimum the capability of the people to make changes in the country in a democratic way, including, to achieve releasing of numerous prisoners of conscience.
We understand that many organisations to which our Appeal goes, are working to protect human rights in many countries of the world and consequently we can not urge them to concentrate their attention only to human rights issues in Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, we would like that the listed organisations in the beginning of the Appeal and respected by us to give their maximum attention to the problem of releasing political prisoners in Uzbekistan.
We are confident that on this sad moment for Uzbekistan everybody understands the importance of this issue. In our opinion, in this question your continuous and persistent efforts to draw attention of the leaders of the democratic countries, EU, the United Nations, OSCE, leading politicians and world mass-media to put maximum pressure upon the government of Uzbekistan are extremely important.
The Uzbek government who in its reports to the Committees and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and in the speeches of its representatives at all international conferences and meetings declares again and again that Uzbekistan has the most democratic legislation, that it is building a democratic society based on the supremacy of law, that it has accepted and ratified a number of international documents, is actually striving to mislead and deceive the international democratic community without supporting the statements with real and concrete actions.
We call upon the governments of the democratic states, democratic institutes of the world to face the truth and not to fall under the sweet songs of the Uzbek government officials.
Let’s cite only one example from the twenty years’ policy of deceit of the government of Uzbekistan. Answering questions of the participants about children’s and forced labour in Uzbekistan at the Third Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council, held on December, 11th, 2008, the head of the state delegation of Uzbekistan, director of the National Centre for Human Rights of Uzbekistan Akmal Saidov said:
“Cotton in Uzbekistan is not produced by the state. All of it is produced in a private sector. Attraction of children to cotton picking is not a state policy”
It is absolutely impossible to agree with the words of Saidov, Doctor of Law, in any way. His statement that the state is not responsible for the actions performed in a private sector during a cotton-picking compaign even there used children’s forced labour is a full absurdity since under the laws of the country the state bears responsibility for all the infringements of the labour legislation in whatever sector of the economy they are made, especially for the infringements connected with the use of child labour.
In Uzbekistan special bodies are created to control over the infringements of labour legislation by the state: labour inspections at local administrations called hokimiyats, inspections on under-age affairs in militia. It is known that the general supervision on the execution of legislation is made by the Office of Public Prosecutor. Unfortunately, in the conditions of a violent political regime these state structures do not and cannot protect the children’s rights. Quite the contrary. All the state structures are mobilized by the oral and unlawful directives of the authorities to cotton picking or any harvesting compaigns. You cannot find the like in any country of the world.
Again this year (2009), during cotton-picking campaign throughout the country practically all the schools were closed by the order of the administration, all schoolchildren of 5-10 grades (aged 12-17) and their teachers are forced to go to cotton fields – the authorities acted impudently and openly.
And it occurs after when the authorities of Uzbekistan in 2008 unwillingly and forcedly ratified two international documents on child labour: ILO Convention ?138 concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and the United Nations Convention ?182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
We also wish you to pay attention to the fact that having taken advantage of the connivance of such authoritative international structure as the European Union, at the recent meeting in Bruxelles the government of Uzbekistan by the lips of Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov had the cheek to declare that the Uzbek delegation had arrived here not to report and nobody granted the European Union the right to supervise others.
We consider that whatever interests heads of the USA, European countries, EU, the United Nations and OSCE were guided in mutual relations with Uzbekistan, tactics of total lenience, especially, captation before its government is not admissible.
Abdujalil Boymatov, President of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan;
Mobile; 00 353 870 61 4883
Bahadir Namazov, Head of the Committee for the Liberation of the Prisoners of Conscience of Uzbekistan, a journalist;
Home- (99871) 2651313
Mobile- (+99893) 376-13-67
Elena Urlaeva, Head of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan;
Home; 00 998 71 260 1386
Mobile; 00 998 93 392 1784
Gulshan Karaeva, Chairman of the Kashkadarya Region branch of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan;
Home; 00 998 75 225 0622
Mobile; 00 998 75 317 6277
Mamir Azimov, Chairman of the Human Rights Association of the Jizzakh Region.
Home; 00 998 37 223 0515
Mobile; 00 998 72 227 3288
Appendix to the Appeal: A list of the prisoners of conscience in Uzbekistan by December, 2009