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Karakalpak lawyer Dauletmurat Tajimuratov celebrates 45 birthday behind bars

On 27 of March  Dauletmurat Tajimuratov, a lawyer and a courageous champion of human rights from Karakalpakstan celebrated his birthday. He turned 45. However, instead of celebrating with loved ones, Tajimuratov finds himself spending yet another year confined behind bars. This marks the second consecutive year of his unjust imprisonment.

Tajimuratov’s unwavering commitment to defending human rights has led him to oppose proposed changes to Uzbekistan’s Constitution, changes that threatened to strip Karakalpakstan of its right to independence. In his peaceful efforts to rally against these amendments and voice the concerns of the Karakalpak people, Tajimuratov was met with harsh retaliation. He was unjustly detained and subsequently sentenced to a grueling 16 years in a maximum-security prison, where he endures daily threats and torture.

Tajimuratovs’ entire family faces daily pressures from Uzbek authorities. This struggle extends beyond their household, as numerous families affected by the brutal events of July 1-2, 2022, still await justice for their loved ones who were mercilessly killed during the protests. Over 70 individuals were arrested merely for participating in peaceful demonstrations. Meanwhile, Karakalpaks residing in other countries, bravely expressing dissent against the regime’s abuses through social media, find themselves relentlessly persecuted by Uzbekistan’s authorities, living in perpetual fear of extradition. Despite the overwhelming evidence of human rights violations, there has been an absence of accountability for those responsible. No law enforcement agents or government representatives who ordered use of excessive and lethal force on innocent civilians have been brought to justice. 

Instead, the official rhetoric from Tashkent labels these courageous individuals as “separatists,” perpetuating a harmful tradition of silencing dissent through arbitrary arrests and threats. 

In times like these, it is paramount that we stand in solidarity with Tajimuratov and other Karakalpak activists who bravely confront human rights abuses. We demand justice, transparency, and the immediate release of Tajimuratov and all political prisoners unjustly detained under President Mirziyoyev’s regime.

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