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Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan to review case of Azimzhan Askarov

The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan will review a case of the human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov, who is serving a life sentence, due to newly discovered circumstances. His lawyer Valerian Vakhitov told 24.kg news agency.

According to him, the Bazar-Korgon District Court sent all the documents to the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, including a request for review from the convict. Azimzhan Askarov does not agree with the decision of the Chui Regional Court, which upheld sentences of lower instances of life imprisonment.

The court did not comply with the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee. This means that the Government violated its covenants within a number of international agreements.

Valerian Vakhitov

«Moreover, he appealed to the Prime Minister with a demand to comply with international obligations, but, for some reason, the Cabinet of Ministers forwarded his appeal to the Ombudsman’s Office. My client is outraged. The Institute of Ombudsman is not a subdivision of the Government,» said Valerian Vakhitov and added that the hearing was likely to take place in February.

He noted that Azimzhan Askarov wrote a separate appeal to the Ombudsman, which says that the verdict against him was delivered illegally and under pressure, and demands to cancel it.

On December 2, 2019, the Supreme Court decriminalized a number of counts and commuted the punishment of the human rights defender under certain articles. However, the main article of the charge «Complicity in Murder» of the Criminal Code, under which Azimzhan Askarov received the life sentence, remained.

Azimzhan Askarov is accused of inciting ethnic hatred and murder of a policeman during the June events in the south of the republic in 2010.