PICKET IN DUBLIN

TAKE ACTION FOR WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN UZBEKISTAN

Minister Conor Lenihan, Abdujalil Boymatov (HRSU) & Front Line’s Mary Lawlor

To mark International Women’s Day, Front Line and the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan is calling on the Uzbek authorities to immediately release human rights defenders, Mutabar Tadjibaeva, Gulbahor Turayeva and Umida Niyazova currently imprisoned on fabricated charges and at high risk of ill-treatment and torture.

Mutabar Tadjibaeva
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Gulbahor Turayeva
Umida Niyazova

“Front Line, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, defending those who champion the Universal Declaration of Human rights”
Front Line, Eagraíocht Idirnáisiúnta Chosantóirí Cearta Daonna, ag tabhairt cosanta do dhaoine atá ag obair ar son an Dearbhú Uile-Choiteann Cearta an Duine.

Mutabar Tadjibaeva

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

In support of the Birdamlik (Solidarity) Movement of Uzbekistan, on International Women’s Day 2007, the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) and Front Line call on the Uzbek authorities to release immediately three women human rights defenders who are currently imprisoned; Mutabar Tadjibaeva, Gulbahor Turayeva and Umida Niyazova.

Mutabar Tadjibaeva is the Chairwoman of the human rights organization Fiery Hearts Club, which is based in Ferghana City in Uzbekistan. She is also one of the founders of the national movement Civil Society and a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Mutabar Tadjibaeva has monitored human rights violations in the Ferghana Valley and she has reported on issues such as the violations of women’s rights to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an international non-governmental organization that trains journalists in human rights reporting. Mutabar Tadjibaeva was due to attend an international conference on human rights defenders in Dublin on 8 October 2005 hosted by Front Line. She was detained on 7 October when she was scheduled to fly to Tashkent to get a connecting flight to Ireland. On 6 March 2006 human rights defender Mutabar Tadjibaeva was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. She was subsequently moved to a psychiatric hospital. According to reports, Mutabar Tadjibaeva’s health has seriously deteriorated. She has low blood pressure and a kidney problem. Her family believes that she may have been transferred from the psychiatric hospital where she was being held to a normal hospital but they have been refused permission to visit her. It has also been reported that she is being denied appropriate medical attention.

Gulbahor Turayeva, pathologist and human rights activist, 44, from Andijan. On 14 January 2007 Gulbahor Turayeva was arrested while she was crossing the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border at the Dustlik post. Uzbek customs officers found press material published by the opposition Erk party in her bag. Her husband Farid Yangildin has said that Gulbahor Turayeva was carrying 123 books, some of which written by the chairman of the Erk party, Muhammad Solih. After the detention Turayeva spent two days under arrest at the Andijan Region customs department and was sent to a National Security Service detention centre on 16 January. Gulbahor Turayeva’s house in Andijan was examined the same day and her family members were told that a criminal case had been launched against her under Article 159 of the Criminal Code (attempting to overthrow the constitutional system). The chairman of the Erk party, Muhammad Solih, has said that he is very disappointed by what happened to Gulbahor Turayeva, but stressed that she is a human rights activist sympathising with opposition and sharing its views. Gulbahor Turayeva, a pathologist, is a mother of four. During the detention she was with her nine-year-old son Shamsy who spent one night with her in custody. Her youngest child is only six months old.

Umida Niyazova, Uzbek journalist and human rights defender, was arrested on 22 January 2007 and taken to the pre-trial detention unit in the Uzbek city of Andijan. She was detained for four days before being handed over to the Office for Prosecution of Transport Offences in Tashkent on 26 January. On 21 December 2006, Niyazova’s computer and passport were confiscated upon her arrival from Kyrgyzstan to the Tashkent airport in Uzbekistan. The customs officials said her computer contained illegal material. She was forced to flee Uzbekistan. Umida Niyazova turned to the UN in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) for protection. The Kyrgyz immigration services registered her as a person in need of protection. She was informed that all charges against her would be dropped on her return to Uzbekistan; however, she was arrested upon her arrival. The Office for Prosecution of Transport Offences in Uzbekistan initiated a criminal case against Niyazova for violation of articles 233 («illegal border-crossing») and 246 («illegal transportation of information material») of the criminal code. Umida Niyazova has worked for CJES since 2000 and with the Central Asian Internet magazine «Oasis» since 2005. She has also worked for Internews Uzbekistan and Freedom House, and as a translator for Human Rights Watch.

The Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) has been active since 2 February 1992. They have 600 members and branches in 11 regions of Uzbekistan and in the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan. Over the years, 25 HRSU members have been unlawfully convicted and imprisoned.

Front Line, the international foundation for the protection of human rights defenders, has the specific aim to protect defenders of human rights and to provide them with «round-the-clock» practical support so that they can continue their legitimate work in protecting the rights of others. Front Line supports the promotion of a working environment where human rights defenders do not face any intimidation, harassment or fear of reprisals due to their human rights work.
Abdujalil Boymatov, Deputy Chairperson, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan.

Mary Lawlor, Director, Front Line.

This page was updated on 8th March, 2007
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“Front Line, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, defending those who champion the Universal Declaration of Human rights”

Front Line, Eagraíocht Idirnáisiúnta Chosantóirí Cearta Daonna, ag tabhairt cosanta do dhaoine atá ag obair ar son an Dearbhú Uile-Choiteann Cearta an Duine.

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