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Azimjon Askarov, a human rights defender from Kyrgyzstan, may have died in prison on Saturday after contracting pneumonia, but it really was the cruel human rights abuses that ultimately got him. Prison officials confirmed the cause of death…
Ethnic Uzbek journalist Azimzhan Askarov, who was arbitrarily arrested, tortured, convicted after an unfair trial and jailed for life looks through metal bars during hearings at the Bishkek regional court, Kyrgyzstan.
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End Torture; Respect Basic Freedoms

(Berlin) – Central Asia's political leaders should focus on urgently needed improvements to basic human rights protections for their populations, as they deal with leadership succession and internal politics, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its…
2016-10-7-eca-kazakhstan-bokaev-protest
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Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
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Investigation, Trial Provided No Justice

Update - July 22, 2016 On July 22, 2016, the Chui Regional Court in Bishkek upheld the acquittal verdict of four police officers charged in connection with the death in August 2011 of Usmanjon Kholmirzaev. To date, no one has been held…
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Abe Should Make Human Rights a Core Part of His Trip

(Tokyo, October 22, 2015) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Central Asia trip is a key opportunity to raise concerns about the alarming state of human rights throughout the region and underscore the importance of reforms, Human Rights Watch said…
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Overview of key human rights concerns in Central Asia October 2015 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan’s human rights record has seen an unequivocal and marked deterioration in the last five years, with the authorities launching an…
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Congress, or at least parts of it, is getting restless with the White House approach to human rights abuses in Central Asia. A recent hearing by the House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the region’s terrible human rights record…
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Five years ago this month I was in Osh documenting cases of arbitrary arrest, ill treatment and torture in the aftermath of the ethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan. The deep bruises on the body of one man I spoke with are still imprinted on my mind. He…
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Grant Agencies Access to Register Asylum Claim

(Bishkek) – An appeals court in Bishkek should stop the extradition of a former Imam to Uzbekistan, where he would be at serious risk of torture. On February 5, 2013, the court is scheduled to hear an appeal of the prosecutor general’s decision to…
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February 1, 2013 Aida Salyanova Prosecutor General of Kyrgyzstan 139 Toktonalieva Street Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan   Dear Prosecutor General Aida Salyanova: I am writing to express my grave concern about the possible extradition to Uzbekistan of Khabibullo…
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Impact on Rights Hampered by Lack of Clear Expectations, Policy Consequences

(Brussels) – The European Union’s (EU) effectiveness to promote rights improvements in Central Asia is hampered by its reticence to articulate clear expectations for reform and follow through with policy consequences when those expectations are not met,…
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  With Bosnia’s aspirations to EU and NATO membership, it is only natural that it sometimes looks to Europe and the US as a model. But when it comes to combating terrorism, the country seems to be learning the wrong lessons – emphasizing national…
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Ruling Puts Spotlight on Bosnia’s Abusive Counterterrorism Policy

(London) – The decision by the European Court of Human Rights on February 7, 2012, to block Bosnia’s deportation of a Syrian terrorism suspect highlights Bosnia’s problematic counterterrorism policy, Human Rights Watch said today. The court blocked the…
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Extortion Cases Targeting Ethnic Uzbeks

(New York) – An ethnic Uzbek detained and allegedly tortured by police in southern Kyrgyzstan died on August 9, 2011, two days after he was released from police custody, Human Rights Watch said today. The police had threatened to press charges against him…
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Prosecutors Refuse to Investigate Torture Despite Overwhelming Evidence

(New York) - Kyrgyz authorities' refusal to investigate torture allegations in a case to be reviewed by the Supreme Court on March 29, 2011,  constitutes a serious violation of both Kyrgyz and international law, Human Rights Watch said today. Farrukh…
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Supreme Court Can Quash Verdict in Case Marred by Threats, Torture

(New York) - The Kyrgyz Supreme Court can prevent a miscarriage of justice in a murder case connected to the June 2010 ethnic violence that has been marred by torture, violence, and threats, Human Rights Watch said today. The Kyrgyz Supreme Court…
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(OSH)  - "They don't stop beating me. Please, sell your house, your car, your last things to get me out of here." Nafiza (not her real name) recalls the words from memory, written by her 37-year-old son in a letter smuggled out of prison by a policeman…