Good day, The OMCT is currently carrying out the follow-up of the cases we worked on together in the year 2001. We consider crucial to possess a long-term view of the appeals we launched, in order to avoid as far as possible working uniquely on a daily basis. It will allow us to follow the evolution of the cases and to get an overhaul impression of the concrete actions undertaken, or not undertaken, in the aftermath of an appeal. Any new information is of importance, even if nothing happened, because as you know, the apathy of the authorities is also a sign that needs to be analyzed when talking about human rights. In this regard, could you send us the information you have about the case pasted hereunder. Notably : Was an investigation into the circumstances of the death launched? Has Mr. Ruzimuradov’s family enjoyed its right to reparation and compensation? Is the Harassment against HR activism still continuing with the same tools: arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, torture…? Thank you for your information, Best Regards, Blaise Bonvin
URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY UZB 003/ 0106/OBS 055.1
Extra-Judicial Killing/Torture Uzbekistan July 9th, 2001
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the FIDH and the OMCT, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Uzbekistan. New information: The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) of the death in detention of Mr. Shovruk Ruzimuradov, the head of HRSU’s Kashkadar’ya Regional Department. According to the information received, Mr. Ruzimuradov’s sister informed HRSU’s office in Tashkent of her brother’s death on July 7th, 2001, having been informed by a local official of his death in detention earlier that day. Later that evening Mr. Ruzimuradov’s body was returned to his family. According to the information received, Mr. Ruzimuradov was arbitrarily arrested on June 15th, by members of the Kashkadar’ya District Department of the Interior (DDI), and was detained incommunicado until his death. His whereabouts were not known during his detention, and it is likely that his death was the result of torture at the hands of the authorities. Mr. Ruzimuradov’s arrest was reportedly justified by the fact that he was charged with being connected with the «Hizbut-ut Tahrir» independent Islamic movement, after the police had placed 9 of the movement’s leaflets in his house during a search. The Uzbeki police reportedly frequently uses the planting of evidence in order to validate undesired individuals’ arrests under the pretext of fighting against Islamic movements. The Observatory is gravely concerned about the Uzbeki authorities use of arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, the planting of evidence, and, most notably, the alleged use of torture against these detainees, which, as in the case of Mr. Ruzimuradov, can lead to their death. Brief reminder of the situation: According to the information received, on June 15th 2001, Mr. Ruzimuradov was arbitrarily arrested by members of the Kashkadar’ya District Department of the Interior (DDI). Later on during the same day, a group of members of the DDI, including 31 armed policemen, raided and searched his house and confiscated several items. The search was led by the DDI’s Investigation Department Director – A. Mahmadierov – DDI’s Criminal Investigation Department official – Sherali Turaev – and the Director of the Yakkabag Regional Department of the Interior – N. Niymatov. The policemen, 11 of whom were armed with guns, began searching the house without having presented either of the four women present in the house with a search warrant. Mr. Ruzimuradov’s mother, wife, daughter and sister were present in the house during the search and all were violently beaten. His wife – Mrs. R. Ruzimuradova – and sister – Mrs O. Burieva – were beaten unconscious and his 76 year-old mother – Mrs. Burieva T. – was violently pushed to the floor. According to Mrs O. Burieva, the policemen placed 9 leaflets from the religious party «Hizbut-ut Tahrir» in the house during the search, in what is thought to be an attempt to frame Mr. Ruzimuradov. The policemen also confiscated all the computer equipment in the house, which is the property of the HRSU, and several books and documents. Action requested: Please write to the authorities of Uzbekistan urging them to: § guarantee adequate compensation to Mr. Ruzimuradov’s family; § guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances of these events, identify those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law; § put an end to all forms of harassment of human rights defenders and their organizations, and ensure that they are allowed to carry out their work without obstacles; § ensure the application of the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on December 9th 1998, especially with «respect to the protection of the right of all persons, «…individually or in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels» (Art.1.) as well as the duty of the State to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and 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» (Art.12.2); § ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.