The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan has refused to free 65-year old human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Azimjan Askarov.
This is stated in the press release of Amnesty International human rights organization.
Instead, the Court cancelled Askarov’s sentence and referred the case to the regional court for further investigation. The human rights defender will remain in detention pending his new trial.
“It’s a missed opportunity for Kyrgyzstan to do the right thing by finally releasing a man who should never have been jailed in the first place. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court ignores Kyrgyzstan’s obligations under international human rights law,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International.
As the human rights defenders report, Azimjan Askarov was repeatedly beaten, abused, and denied medical treatment before his trial in 2010 and since, and the charges against him were fabricated and politically motivated.
Azimjan Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was accused of being an accomplice to the murder of a police officer during several days of violence between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks that took place in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. Three months later he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Amnesty International believes Azimjan Askarov is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. Amnesty International is calling on Kyrgyzstan to fully implement the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee to provide reparation to Azimjan Askarov, immediately release him and quash his sentence.
Photo by Radio Svoboda
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