2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


785. By letter dated 2 September 2002 sent jointly with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information regarding a peaceful demonstration in Aksy on 17 March 2002 demanding the release of Azimbek Beknasarov, a Parliamentarian who was being detained and had reportedly been tortured (see below), that was reportedly fired upon by special police forces (OMON). The police reportedly began beating women participating in the demonstration. When Tursunbek Akunov, the Chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan, was arrested, the demonstrators are said to have demanded that he be released. At this point, an order was reportedly given by the District Presecutor to open fire upon the crowd. Several persons were allegedly wounded and five reportedly died as a result, including Sovetbek Tagayev, Kadyrkul Saparaliyev, Begaly Chetinbayev, and Urkumbaev Satynay, with at least two persons having received direct shots to the head. At least 12 persons were said to have suffered serious bullet wounds. The Minister of Internal Affairs has reportedly stated that the police was obliged to resort to live ammunition, due to a lack of rubber bullets and tear gas.

786. By letter dated 17 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur reminded the Government of a number of cases transmitted in 2000 and 2001 regarding which no reply had been received.

Urgent appeals 787. On 31 January 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on arbitrary detention on behalf of Azimbek Beknazarov, the Chairman of the Committee of Judicial and Legal Matters of the Legislative Council of the Parliament, on whose behalf the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression intervened by letter dated 25 January 2002. Azimbek Beknazarov was reportedly arrested on 5 January 2002, following allegations that he had mishandled a murder case in 1995, when he was an investigator at the office of the Toktogul District Prosecutor. On 8 January 2002, he was said to have been charged with abuse of power. It was believed, however, that his arrest may be the result of his recent criticism of the Government policies. The 1995 murder case refers to a fight between Japaraly Kamchybekov, a captain at the Jalal- Abad district police department, and a local resident, Jolchu Bukeev who later died in hospital. As an investigator Azimbek Beknazarov had reviewed the case, but decided not to file a criminal case against Kamchybekov, as he had allegedly acted in selfdefence. On 5 November 2001, Jolchu Bukeevís relatives reportedly appealed to local prosecutors to reconsider the case against Japaraly Kamchybekov. On 9 November 2001, a criminal case was reportedly filed aga inst the latter, and on 30 November, he was reportedly sentenced to eight years in prison. On 2 January 2002, they furthermore appealed to prosecutors that Azimbek Beknazarov be punished for having detained Bukeevís brothers during the investigation. Two days later, the Prosecutor of the Southern Jalal-Abad Province reportedly ordered the detention of Azimbek Beknazarov. It was also believed that the authorities exerted pressure on Bukeevís brothers, who were serving prison terms for other crimes, to write an appeal against Azimbek Beknazarov. In detention Japaraly Kamchybekov was said to have been tortured to make him sign evidence that incriminates Azimbek Beknazarov. Furthermore, several militiamen reportedly brought Japaraly Kamchybekovís father by force to the Department of Internal Affairs in Jalal-Abad, where he was subsequently beaten. The authorities allegedly subjected him to ill-treatment in order to force him to give evidence against Azimbek Beknazarov and to compel his son to do the same. Protests against Azimbek Beknazarovís arrest allegedly began on 10 January 2002, at the office of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek and have reportedly spread, resulting in numerous threats to and arbitrary arrests of protesters. On 15 January, in Bishkek, 25 persons reportedly went on hunger strike, including two Deputies of the Legislative Council. By 18 January, there were said to be approximately 170 hunger strikers in Kyrgyzstan in support of Beknazarov, of which some reportedly reached a critical stage. On 17 January, Chynybekov Talant, who had been conducting a hunger strike for eight days, was reportedly arrested in the street by militia officers and taken to an undisclosed location. On 22 January, the head of the Bishkek Municipal Hospital reportedly dismissed Tolobaeva Batiya, Director of the Rehabilitation Centre, as she had offered medical assistance to many of the hunger strikers.

788. On 25 February 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression and the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on arbitrary detention on behalf of Azimbek Beknazarov (see above). On 14 February, he was allegedly beaten by two security officials wearing masks. As a result, he was said to have lost consciousness and was later forced to write a statement indicating that he had not been beaten. Two deputies of Parliament reportedly saw him in bad condition on 19 February.

789. By letter dated 29 April 2002, the Government responded that during the investigations, Japaraly Kamchybevok and his father had recorded statments freely without any coercion and that the latter had neither been detained nor been remanded in custody. It also informed the Special Rapporteur that the preventive measure against Azimbek Beknazarov had been replaced with a pledge not to travel abroad. According to the Procurator-General, he had not been beaten in police custody in Jalal-Abat City Internal Affiars Office, no injections were given to him and no legal action was performed against him. Concerning the demonstrations against his arrest, the Government indicated that the security forces did not arrest and made no threats against the persons who had declared a hunger strike. However, on 14 January 2002, 17 persons were issued with warnings, two were fined and three were placed under administrative detention by the Aksyi district court. Chynybekov Talant was not detained and was not taken to the Internal Affairs offices. For her part, Tolobaeva batiya had not been dismissed.

790. On 7 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of five suspected members of Hizb- ut Tahrir who had reportedly been arrested on 26 September 2002 during a special operation launched by officers from the Suzak District Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs: Abdurahmanov and K. Moldosmanov in the village of Suzak, N. Nadjiev in the village of Jyide, Addukaharov in the village of Bek-Abbad, and A. Kadyrov in the village of Dostuk in Nooken District.

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small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.