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Uzbek SGB states it is not obligated to explain the ban against human rights defender Galym Ageleuov, threatens the lawyer

Kazakh human rights defender Galym Ageleuov, director of the human rights organization “Liberty”, who investigated the protests in Karakalpakstan on 1-2 July with Freedom for Eurasia, has been prohibited from entering Uzbekistan in 2023. Ageleuov, as an expert of Freedom for Eurasia, visited Karakalpakstan in 2022 to meet with the families of those who were killed during or after the protests. On May 22, 2023, when attempting to board a flight from Bishkek to Tashkent, Ageleuov was denied boarding due to an entry ban imposed by the Border Service of Uzbekistan. Tashkent Airlines staff provided no further explanation. The purpose of Galym Ageleuov’s trip to Uzbekistan was to attend the appeal hearing of human rights defender Dauletmurat Tajimuratov.

Despite numerous requests from Ageleuov’s attorney Sergei Mayorov and Freedom for Eurasia to the Border Service of Uzbekistan and other state authorities regarding the entry ban, no response has been forthcoming since May 2023. However, last week, Ageleuov’s attorney, Sergei Mayorov, was summoned to the State National Service (SGB) and warned to stop discrediting state authorities in his attorney requests and cease spreading information about Ageleuov’s case on social media platforms.


Sergei Mayorov. Photo

After numerous requests, the Border Service finally issued an official letter on March 26, 2024, which was received today. The letter cited Article 29 of the Law “On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons,” stating that the entry ban was enacted to safeguard national security. It further stated that the authority overseeing the case is not obliged to disclose the reasoning behind the prohibition.

Importantly, Ageleuov has never violated any migration or other laws in Uzbekistan that would warrant such a prohibition. Freedom for Eurasia contends that the ban on his entry is directly related to his work as a human rights defender and his investigation into human rights abuses in Karakalpakstan.

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