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Persecution of Karakalpak Activist Atabaev Kadambai

Freedom for Eurasia has received distressing information regarding the persecution of another activist from Karakalpakstan, Atabaev Kadambai. Kadambai, who has disabilities and is wheelchair bound, is facing charges related to administering the Facebook group “Pensioners Party of Uzbekistan.” He is also a supporter of Karakalpakstan sovereignity.

According to Kadambai, on February 11, 2024 district police officers Yuldashev Bobur and deputy Amatov Odil, accompanied by three police officers, arrived at his home. They reportedly berated him without cause, humiliated him in front of his relatives and friends, and confiscated his phone, computer, and flash drive. Kadambai was accused of being too active on Facebook and having a significant following of 60 thousand subscribers in the group “Pensioners Party of Uzbekistan.” 

On Facebook, Kadambai wrote: “Dear friends on Facebook, please help me get my computer back. Last time they took my computer and returned it after three or four months in an unusable condition.” Kadambai remains unaware of the specific charges he will face under Uzbekistan’s laws.

Yesterday Kadambai wrote on Facebook that today, on 09 April, 2024 he will be brought to court. Charges are unknown. He only knows that it is again connected to his administration of the “Pensioners Party of Uzbekistan” page on Facebook.

This is not the first time Atabaev is subjected to harassment by law enforcement bodies. In February 2024 he was issued a summons to come to Interior Ministry Department in Ellikkala district and was questioned about his Facebook group and posts with criticism of authorities.

Freedom for Eurasia closely monitors Kadambai’s situation and will provide updates as we gather more information. This unjust treatment underscores the urgent need for international attention and support to protect the rights of activists like Kadambai, who courageously advocate for political participation and freedom of expression in Uzbekistan.

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