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Human rights defenders: Azimzhan Askarov must be acquitted posthumously

Representatives of Bir Duino human rights center appealed to the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov in connection with the anniversary of the June 2010 events in southern Kyrgyzstan.

The authors of the appeal remind the head of state of human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov who died in prison colony No. 47 on July 25, 2020. They pointed out that the widow of the human rights defender cannot receive compensation for her husband, who was recognized as a victim of torture, since the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan did not consider her as a legal successor.

«We have gone through 47 trials together with Azimzhan Askarov. To date, investigator of the State Penitentiary Service is conducting investigation into his death that is a conflict of interest. As an example, there is a refusal to conduct the second examination by an independent commission,» the organization noted.

Bir Duino stressed that Azimzhan Askarov, his family, colleagues and partners from different parts of the world have fought and continue to fight against the impunity of officials at various levels, who, «covering up their crimes, ignoring all legal instruments, including the conclusion of the UN Human Rights Committee (May 2016. — Note of 24.kg news agency), trampled on the principle of equality of citizens before the law in the Kyrgyz Republic, remaining unpunished.»

The human rights activists note that Askarov’s widow, Khadicha Askarova, his children and grandchildren, human rights defenders, the international community ask Sadyr Japarov to show political will and restore justice and legality in relation to the human rights defender.

«Then Kyrgyzstan will return its image and status of an independent state in the UN, OSCE, European Union, as a country committed to universal human values, humanity and justice, respecting the human rights of every person, fighting against impunity in the world and aiming at sustainable development. Restoration of the rights of human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov will return the trust in the Kyrgyz government, which was trampled upon during the 30 years after gaining independence by corrupt officials and the family-clan system,» the appeal says.

Following the conclusion of the UN Human Rights Committee, the human rights defender should be acquitted posthumously, and his family should receive compensation. Officials who violated Askarov’s rights should be held accountable.

From appeal of human rights defenders to the President

The UN Committee found out that human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov was subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The Committee obliged the state party to take the necessary measures for his immediate release, annulment of his criminal record, including full compensation for damage. The human rights activist filed a lawsuit, where he asked to indicate the measures taken on this decision.

In June, the Administrative Court terminated the proceedings on Azimzhan Askarov’s claim, justifying it by the fact that the dispute in this case did not arise from administrative-legal (public-law) relations between the government and the plaintiff.

Azimzhan Askarov died in hospital of the prison colony No. 47 on July 25, 2020. According to the conclusion of the medical examination, his death was a result of acute respiratory failure.