Posts Tagged ‘International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)’

12 human rights NGOs urge Uzbekistan to pick up pace with reforms

February 15, 2018

The Financial Times (amongst others) reports that changes in Uzbekistan are possibly going in the right direction. [“While Mr Mirziyoyev was part of the old system too, as prime minister for 13 years, his ousting of Mr Inoyatov was the boldest in a series of steps apparently designed to start opening the country up. He has freed 18 high-profile political prisoners — even if thousands more remain in jail — and taken nearly 16,000 people off a 17,500-strong security blacklist of potential extremists that stopped them travelling or getting jobs”.]  This echoes what HRW said on 5 September 2017 after delegation had made its first visit to Uzbekistan since the organization was banned there in 2010:  “The key is for the Uzbek government to transform the modest steps it has taken thus far into institutional change and sustainable improvements”. Now (13 February 2018) twelve international NGOs have publicly urged Uzbekistan to release journalists and human rights defenders.

Journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. 
Journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. 

In a joint statement HRW, IPHR, Amnesty International, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Civil Rights Defenders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Reporters Without Borders, Freedom Now, ARTICLE 19, and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights have called on Tashkent to “ensure a thorough, impartial, and independent investigation into the alleged torture and other ill-treatment” of independent journalist Bobomurod Abdullaev.

[Abdullaev was detained in September on charges of “conspiracy to overthrow the constitutional regime” and faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. In October, Uzbek authorities arrested well-known economist and blogger Hayot Nasriddinov. They have accused him and others, including Akrom Malikov, an academic who was arrested in 2016, of plotting to overthrow the government.

At a time when the Uzbek government appears to be taking steps to reform the country’s feared security services, reports of a journalist’s torture in their custody should prompt an immediate investigation and decisive, public condemnation,” HRW Central Asia researcher Steve Swerdlow said in the statement.

There is a real opportunity for change in Uzbekistan – and yet we hear of journalists and bloggers still being detained and tortured. This case is a test of whether Uzbekistan’s human rights situation is really improving or not,” Brigitte Dufour, director of International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), said in the rights groups’ statement.

For my earlier posts on Uzbekistan, see:

Turkmenistan and the UN: a rare comprehensive review of human rights shortcomings

April 3, 2012

On 30 March Human Rights Watch (HRW)  together with the International Partnership for Human Rights, and Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights made public a report that on the result of the Turkmen government’s hearing at the UN Human Rights Committee. Both the hearing and the original NGO submission  show its abysmal human rights record.  “The UN review leaves no doubt about the urgent need for human rights reform in Turkmenistan. What’s key now is to make sure the Turkmen government does what it takes to rectify abuses” stated Veronika Szente Goldston, Europe and Central Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.  Given Turkmenistan’s exceptionally poor record of cooperation with the UN’s human rights bodies, sustained external pressure is essential to enforce compliance, the organizations said.
The Turkmen government’s clampdown on freedom of expression and repression of civil society activism, torture and ill-treatment in places of detention, and the lack of an independent judiciary topped the committee’s concerns. It directed the Turkmen government to report back within one year on measures taken to address them. The committee also highlighted other important areas of concern, such as: Incommunicado detention and imprisonment and restrictions on “the exit and entry into [the country] by certain individuals.  Other concerns raised by the committee include: The Law on Public Associations, which “severely restricts freedom of association; reports of the use of child labor in cotton harvesting; criminalization of homosexuality; and the “alleged use of a forced assimilation policy of ‘Turkmenisation,’ for ethnic minorities.
For the full report go to: