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Uzbekistan Engages in Repression in the Name of the “War on Terror”

To the chairman of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Mr. Jonathan Fanton
From convict Ruslan Sharipov …
Tashtyurma [Tashkent Prison] Uya 64/SI, Building 4, Cell 4108

Dear Mr. Jonathan Fanton,

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My colleagues and myself have stated on several occasions that Human Rights Watch is one of the most effective international organizations, working and collecting information on human rights in the territory of Uzbekistan as well as in other countries, and highlighting the actual problems after examining, working out and analyzing the collected information. …

To great regret, today official Uzbekistan uses its legislative bodies, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Prosecutor’s offices and courts of justice to threaten and get rid of the opponents of the regime.

Journalists and human rights defenders, peaceful religious believers and anyone who is brave enough to be against this corrupted regime are unwanted by the Uzbek government and are under threat of imprisonment or to be dealt with physically.…

Up till today journalists, human rights defenders, peaceful religious believers as well as thousands of innocent Uzbek citizens, whose number is continuing to increase, are serving their sentences in Uzbek prisons. …

In this case the Uzbek government is not interested in whether or not these unwanted persons are guilty. All they need is a peg, a reason, that is, a way of finding guilty a person who is already sentence beforehand without their presence to imprisonment or physical punishment, and they use physical means in certain cases. There are cases when, if there is no evidence against a potential victim for his arrest, the government resorts to falsification and fabrication of criminal cases against the regime opponents, forcing the latter to confess their guilt in the accusations they are going to be charged with.

Meanwhile, the hell chain The Ministry of Internal Affairs, The Prosecutor’s Office and the courts are enclosed by the corrupted government itself, by the “Fourth Devil,” that not only imprison or physically harass unwanted opponents of the government, but also carry out mass action with the aim of keeping and making secure conditions for the government of the corrupted and criminal top.

And especially atthis stage, the Uzbek government, feeling the encouragement of the West in the fight against terrorism, now thinks that the West will close its eyes to the mass violations of human rights in Uzbekistan in exchange for Uzbekistan’s support and the use of its territory for the USA.

Unfortunately, I have to state the fact that official Uzbekistan, feeling the encouragement of the USA in the joint fight against terrorism, attacked journalists and human rights defenders, and the overall human rights situation is getting worse and worse.

Serving as proof of this are the many trials against opponents of the regime, human rights defenders, journalists, and peaceful believers, and the cruel persecution of them for political reasons.

The Uzbek security bodies, fulfilling government orders, succeeded in forcing the closure of the Union of Independent Journalists which was set up by me and my colleagues.

Meanwhile, the government continued watching my journalistic and human rights activities around the clock, permanently pressuring, threatening, and attacking me for my criticism of them.

Not having any evidence against me, as they needed, they decided to use my non-traditional sexual orientation, and fabricate and falsify accusations on the basis of that, which would let them to get rid of me as a permanent source of criticism.

As I stated previously, from the beginning of my detention I was tortured and ill-treated in the Mirzo-Ulugbek District department of the Internal Affairs (ROVD), Yunusabad District department of the Internal Affairs (ROVD), Mirzo Ulugbek district court and the Tashkent City department of the Internal Affairs (GUVD).

I described some methods of torture and ill treatment used on me in my previous appeals to the UN Secretary; in particular, I named some officials, who directly fabricated the criminal case against me and tortured me. Unfortunately, while I am in detention I cannot name all the names, nor describe the cruel treatment which affected my honor and dignity including the video recording that I referred to previously.

However today, I would like to turn your attention to the events on September 16, 2003 in the Tashkent City Court building of criminal cases, which perhaps surprised many people, in which my new guilty plea and confession was indeed done against my will and I again yet again recognized that my effort to tell the court the truth would lead to horrible results not only for me, but for my lawyers and family.

Now, I will no longer take part in the trial or in any investigation of my criminal case, so long as the Uzbek government keeps me in detention, [and] keeps the trial closed to local and international observers …

Even though there is international attention to my case, not long before my appeal was due to begin on September 16, 2003 in the Tashkent City court I was ordered to reject my own appeal which consisted of 37 pages, in which I wrote about the torture used against me during the investigation in the Mirzo-Ulugbek ROVD, Mirzo-Ulugbek district court and Tashkent City department of the Internal Affairs (GUVD) and in which I asked to be allowed to directly address those whom I criticized in my statement. However, after what happened to Surat Ikramov, who until that point had defended my interests, I understood that they were not kidding and would do everything which had threatened to do to me, my family and my lawyers.

Ruslan Sharipov
UIa 64/Si 1
Tashkent prison