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Lawyers seek to reopen investigation into Azimzhan Askarov's death

Lawyers are seeking to reopen the investigation into the death of a human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov. He died on July 25, 2020 in the prison colony No. 47.

Lawyer Aidar Sydykov explained to 24.kg news agency that the decision on termination was contested in court. The first instance — the Sverdlovsky District Court of Bishkek — did not satisfy the application of the defenders, they filed a complaint with the Bishkek City Court.

«We will demand to cancel the court ruling and send the materials for the investigation to the State Committee for National Security. The State Penitentiary Service could not do it objectively due to the fact that it itself is the subject of inspection,» Aidar Sydykov said.

He added that it is necessary to strive for dropping all charges against Azimzhan Askarov posthumously. But this must be a political decision. «We have exhausted legal mechanisms. We appealed to the UN Committee that their recommendations on Askarov were not fulfilled, so that there were sanctions against those responsible for his death,» Aidar Sydykov said.

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.