December 13, 2011

“No One Left to Witness”

Torture, the Failure of Habeas Corpus, and the Silencing of Lawyers in Uzbekistan

Map of Uzbekistan
Summary
Recommendations
Methodology
I. Background
“Systematic Torture” and the Call for Habeas Corpus
Documenting Torture in a Closed Country
Fading International Pressure
European Union: Sanctions and Human Rights Criteria
Germany: Anti-Sanctions, Pro-Termez
“Positive Steps” and “Dialogue”
United States: Restrictions on Aid for a “Country of Particular Concern”
Afghanistan and the End of Congressional Sanctions
II. The Failure of Habeas Corpus
Habeas Corpus Amendments
A Core International Human Right
Uzbekistan’s Narrow Legal Standard
No Alternatives to Detention
Pre-Trial Detention: The Rule, Not the Exception
Most Detention Petitions Approved
Length of Detention
Using Administrative Charges to Avoid Habeas Corpus Review..
Violation of Right to an Impartial Tribunal
Closed Hearings
Participation of Defense Lawyers
How One Lawyer’s Efforts to Represent Her Client Were Blocked
Habeas without Corpus
Right to Appeal
III. The Persistence of Torture
Physical and Psychological Torture in Pre-Trial Custody
Beatings
Torture of “Abdumannob A.”
Asphyxiation
Electric Shock
Rape and Other Sexual Violence
Rape of Rayhon, Khosiyat, and Nargiza Soatova
Access to Counsel and the Right to Counsel of One’s Choice
“Permission” to Visit a Client
Incommunicado Detention
“Miranda” Rights
Courts’ Failure to Investigate Torture
Empty Habeas Hearings
Trial
Torture of Obitkhoja O.
IV. Dismantling Uzbekistan’s Independent Legal Profession
International and Uzbek Law on the Independence of Lawyers
From Bar Association to “Quasi-Ministry” of Lawyers
Prohibition on Other Lawyers’ Associations
Blacklisted Lawyers
The Disbarment of Ruhiddin Komilov
Disbarment of Rustam Tyuleganov
Disbarred
Disciplinary Proceedings
A Chilling Effect
Acknowledgements
Appendix: Human Rights Watch Letter to National Human Rights Center of Uzbekistan