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


1912. By letter dated 2 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information on the following individual cases.

1913.Dilshod Eshonkhonov, a 15-year-old boy, was reportedly arrested without order at his home by a local police officer and two police investigators from Dzhizak police department during the night of 14 January 2002. While in custody at Dzhizak Police Department, he was reportedly beaten on the lower back, had a gas mask placed over his face and the oxygen supply turned off. One investigator reportedly tied his hand and leg to a chair and pricked him with needles. When he lost consciousness, the official allegedly poured cold water on him. They furthermore reportedly forced a large nail into his rectum. When he was released the following day, his body was reportedly covered with bruises, and he had to stay in bed for six days. His family was allegedly threatened not to denounce the case. 1914. Nikolay Ganiyev was reportedly sentenced to death by Tashkent City Court on 29 March 2000, after having allegedly been beaten while in custody. It was reported that his death sentence was commuted by the Board of the Supreme Court on 14 February 2002.

1915. Shahzoda Ergasheva, the wife of independent imam Tulkin Ergashev, was reportedly detained on 21 February 1999 and kept in the basement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Yunusobad District Department of Internal Affairs, the Tashkent City Department of Internal Affairs, where she was reportedly held for three days allegedly without food, and finally taken to the detention centre where female administrative detainees are held and where she was reportedly beaten by other prisoners. It was reported that her physical condition deteriorated; she was no longer able to stand up, had spells of dizziness and fainted on several occasions. She was reportedly released on 8 March 2000. Several days later she was allegedly admitted to Tashkent City hospital where she was believed to have been under observation in the neurological ward for a month.

1916. In July 2000 the presiding judge at Tashkent Regional Court reportedly dismissed allegations of torture by 15 members of the Islamic banned organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) charged with distributing leaflets and calling for the overthrow of the constitutional order, even after one of the accused took off his shirt to show the court the injuries and bruises he had suffered. It was also alleged that this accused had shown to the judge a hole in his foot, which he was believed to have received as a result of being beaten with a nail fixed to a plank of wood. Other coaccused reportedly claimed to have been raped, subjected to electric shocks, violently beaten and threatened with murder in order to force them to confess by officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. After their detention the 15 men were allegedly held incommunicado for periods of up to two months and were denied their constitutional right to have access to a lawyer of their own choice, their families and medical aid. In September Tashkent Regional Court reportedly sentenced the men to prison terms ranging from 12 to 16 years. It was feared that the convictions were based on their “confessions” made following torture.

1917. By the same letter, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information according to which there had been a clampdown on banned Islamic opposition parties, and suspected sympathizers of such parties had been detained. Thousands of devout Muslims were said to have been convicted after unfair trials of membership of an illegal party, distribution of illegal religious literature and anti-state activities, and were said to be serving long prison sentences in strict regime prison camps throughout Uzbekistan. On 9 October 2001, the Uzbek President reportedly stated on television that “indifference to, and tolerance of, those with evil intentions who are spreading various fabrications, handing out leaflets, committing theft and sedition in some neighborhoods and who are spreading propaganda on behalf of religion should be recognized as being supportive of these evil-doers.” It was feared that such statements, together with an allegedly persistent failure by the Uzbek authorities to initiate impartial and thorough investigations into allegations of torture and ill- treatment, gave the signal that torture and ill- treatment in general, and in particular of alleged supporters of banned secular political and Islamic opposition parties by law enforcement officials, were acceptable, and that such conduct can be engaged in with impunity.

1918. By letter dated 2 September 2002 sent jointly with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information on the following individual cases.

1919. Maksim Strakhov was reportedly beaten by law enforcement officers for more than three days after his arrest in October 2000. It was alleged that he had been sentenced to death by the Tashkent City Court on 18 April 2001 for premeditated aggravated murder. His execution was believed to have been put on hold for three months by the Supreme Court, pending psychiatric tests.

1920. Valery Agabekov and his brother-in-law, Andrey Annenkov, were reportedly arrested in February 2001 and taken to a police station in Akhangaran town, in Tashkent province, under the suspicion of murder and rubbery. It was reported that they both had been subjected to ill- treatment and forced to confess to the crimes. As a result of the treatment allegedly received in pre-trial detention, Andrey Annenkov allegedly sustained one broken rib and a tooth knocked out and had blood in his urine. Valery Agabekov was also believed to have been subjected to illtreatment in pre-trial detention and to have had blood in his urine too. It was reported that in prison he was handcuffed to a radiator against which his head was hit, a plastic bag was put over his head, he was death threatened and threatened with rape. As a result, he allegedly fell unconscious, sustained a lesion on his jaw and had difficulty to breathe and to eat. On 18 September 2001 both were reportedly sentenced to death by Tashkent Regional Court. The death sentences were alleged to have been upheld by the Board of the court on 12 November 2001.

1921. The bodies of Muzafar Avazov and Husnidin Alimov, both religious prisoners at Jaslyk Prison, were reportedly returned to family members for burial in Tashkent around 8 August 2002. In May 2002, Muzafar Avazov had reportedly been beaten and put him in a punishment cell for stating that nothing could stop him from performing his prayers. His body reportedly showed signs of burns on the legs, buttocks, lower back and arms, a large, bloody wound on the back of the head, heavy bruising on the forehead and side of the neck, and all his fingernails were missing. Sixty to seventy percent of the body was said to have been burnt. Doctors who saw the body reported that such burns could only have been caused by immersing Avazov in boiling waters. Police cars were said to have surrounded the area and checked visitors who approached the house, preventing some from entering. Husnidin Alimov had reportedly been placed in a punishment cell at in June and spent many weeks there before his death. Conditions of detention were reportedly severe and beatings common. A large number of police reportedly accompanied Alimov’s body and were present during the funeral.

1922. By letter dated 17 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur reminded the Government of a number of cases transmitted in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 regarding which no reply had been received.

Urgent appeals

1923. On 7 January 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of opinion and expression and on violence against women and the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on arbitrary detention on behalf of more than 20 Women who on 26 December 2001 were protesting against the alleged ill- treatment of their relatives said to have been convicted for their participation in “Hizb ut-Tahrir” party, in Tashkent. After two hours of demonstrating, members of the militia are said to have forced the women into a bus and took them to an unknown destination. It was believed that they were taken to the Shaihantahur regional Department of Internal Affairs of Tashkent.

1924. On 30 January 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on behalf of Aleksander Kornetov who had been sentenced to death by Tashkent Regional Court on 7 August 2001 for the premeditated aggravated murder of a young woman and whose execution was said to be imminent. He had reportedly maintained his innocence during the investigation and at th trial, although he was allegedly beaten. Her mother is believed to have seen the investigator slapping her son in the face and hitting his head at the Chilanazarsky district police station on two occasions. It was also reported that Aleksander Kornetov was suffering from tuberculosis and was not receiving any medical treatment.

1925. On 15 March 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 Oleg Sarapulov, freelance journalist and Deputy executive director of the Union of Independent Journalists of Uzbekistan (UIJU), who had reportedly been arrested on 6 March 2002 by Yakasaray district Internal Affairs Department (IAD) employees in Tashkent. He was then allegedly brought to the Yakasaray district IAD. It was believed that he had then probably been sent to the office of the Special Receiver for the Homeless (OSRH). His whereabouts were unknown.

1926. On 3 June 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedomof opinon and expression and the Special Representative on human rights defenders on Yuldash Rasulov, a member of the Kashkadarya regional department of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) who had reportedly been arrested by officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) and who had allegedly been transferred to basement of the MVD in Tashkent. In protest on 27 May 2002 Talib Yakubov, HRSU Chairman, joined by Nakhtiyor Khamraev, HRSU Chairman of the Jizzak regional department and Yodgor Turlibekov, member of HRSU Kashkadarya department, reportedly decided to hold a peaceful picket near the building of MVD. The two latter were reportedly arrested by the police and transferred to the Yakkasaray Regional Department, transfer during which Nakthiyor Khamraev was allegedly hit in the abdomen. They were released later.

1927. By letter dated 10 October 2002, the Government informed the Special Representative that the Ministry of Internal Affairs had been informed in the course of a criminal investigation that Yuldash Rasulev was the head of the “Wahhabi” extremist religious organization operating in the Kashkadarya region. Beginning in 2001, Yuldash Rasulev, with the assistance of Makhamadzhon Khatamovich Khalilov, one of the leaders of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), has been organizing a channel for transferring young people abroad to undergo a subversive/terrorist training. With the authorization of the Taskent City Procurator’s Office, Yuldash Rasulev was arrested and is now being prosecuted on criminal charges.

1928. On 17 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Representative on human rights defenders and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf Elena Urlaeva, a member of the non-governmental organization Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, on behalf of whom a communication had been sent on 22 February and on 15 March 2001. She had reportedly been arrested by the police while she was protesting on 27 August 2002 outside the Ministry of Justice building in order to demand that the Taskent court overturn its decision of 5 June 2002 according to which she should be subjected to psychiatric treatment. She was reportedly held at the Tashkent psychiatric hospital for compulsory treatment.

1929. On 22 November 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on behalf of Iskandar Khudoberganov, Bekhzod Kasymbekov and Nosirkhom Khakimov and three others whose trial had reportedly been suspended at the beginning of September 2002 and resumed on 19 November. They were said to have been forced to confess or incriminate other defendants and were accused of religious extremism. During court hearings in September, the defendants reportedly claimed that they were not guilty and that they had been tortured to sign a confession. They were allegedly beaten, denied food, deprived of sleep and threatened with the rape of their female relatives. Their lawyers were reportedly denied access to them and it was reported that they were in need of medical treatment.

1930. On 6 December 2002, the Special Rapporteur transmitted an urgent appeal wile on mission in the country on behalf of Iskander Khudoberganov (Rasul and Ravshan Haitov’s stepbrother – see case above), Bekzod Kazymbekov, Nosirkhon Khakimov, Orifzhon Vasykovich Kadyrov, Asatulla Boltaevich Abdullaev, and Abdunabi Khikmatovich Sharipov (see Appendix II of E/CN.4/2003/68/Add.2)


1931. The Special Rapporteur’s conclusions and recommendations made after his November-December 2002 visit to the country may be found in document E/CN.4/2003/68/Add.2. He regrets that no response has been provided to the cases brought to the attention of the Government since 1996.

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