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Human rights activists demand to drop all charges against Azimzhan Askarov

The human rights community calls on the authorities of Kyrgyzstan to comply with the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee regarding the case of the human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov, who died on July 25, 2020 in the prison colony No. 47.

Human rights activists have repeatedly pointed to the lack of access to timely and high-quality medical care, poor conditions of detention, which ultimately led to a deterioration in the condition and death of Askarov.

It is noted that the investigation into the death of the human rights defender in prison was carried out by the State Penitentiary Service, the same authority that ensures the quality of conditions of detention and the realization of prisoners’ rights, and therefore cannot guarantee and ensure the independence and impartiality of the investigation. The human rights movement Bir Duino — Kyrgyzstan, lawyer Aydar Sydykov continue to defend the rights and interests of the human rights defender’s family following his death in prison.

The UN Human Rights Committee ruled that the 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, cancellation of his criminal record, including full compensation for damage. The human rights activist filed a lawsuit in court, 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, the death was caused by acute respiratory failure.