(Brussels) – Uzbek authorities should immediately stop harassing the human rights defender Uktam Pardaev and lift the unlawful restrictions on his fundamental rights imposed by police, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International Partnership for Human Rights, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and Human Rights Watch said today. Pardaev is the chairman of the Jizzakh branch of the Independent Human Rights Organization in Uzbekistan.
He was detained on November 16, 2015, to face trial on what are widely believed to be politically motivated grounds in retaliation for his human rights monitoring work and was severely beaten in pretrial detention. On January 11, 2016, the Dustlik district court in Jizzakh region convicted Pardaev of three criminal offenses – insult, fraud, and taking a bribe – all of which he denies. The court imposed a three-year conditional sentence to be served in prison if he violates conditions of his release following a six-hour trial. The sentence stipulates that he must register monthly at the local police station.