فرونت لاين ديفندرز
Kyrgyz HRD Azimjan Askarov Due in Court 11 July
Imprisoned human rights defender Azimjan Askarov is due to appear in court on Monday, 11 July 2016, for an appeals hearing. United Nations human rights bodies, the European Union External Action, and international human rights groups have called for the release of the human rights defender and the repeal of his life sentence. Askarov was convicted in 2010 following a trial that fell far short of international standards, and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of organising mass riots and involvement in the killing of a policeman. Askarov has reported being tortured multiple times since his arrest, and has reported beatings, threat of death, threat to relatives, insults, and lack of basic necessities such as toilet facilities.”
Azimjan Askarov is a prominent human rights defender in Kyrgyzstan and founder of the human rights organization Vozdukh (Air). He has worked to investigate and report cases of police abuse and poor prison conditions, and as a result was targeted by the authorities. On 15 September 2010, the human rights defender was sentenced to life imprisonment on trumped up charges of organising mass riots and involvement in the killing of a policeman. He was arrested on 16 June 2010 following violent clashes the same month between ethnic Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks in south Kyrgyzstan, in which more than 400 people were killed. The General Prosecutor's Office refused to investigate the allegations of torture and various courts, including the Supreme Court, upheld the General Prosecutor's refusal to investigate.