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Severe Repression in Karakalpakstan: Over 100 Civil Activists Under House Arrest by Uzbek Court Order

Freedom for Eurasia has received a letter from Info Center “Shyrak-2014” revealing that over 100 civil activists in Karakalpakstan are currently under house arrest by order of an Uzbek court. 

The Info Center “Shyrak-2014” , established in 2014 by activists of the Karakalpak democratic movement, collaborates with various dissident groups both within the country and abroad. The detained include journalists, human rights defenders, and various other activists. Notable individuals among them are journalist Lola Kallykhanova, journalist Yesimkhan Kanatov, Abimalik Khojanazarov, Seydabul Medetov, blogger Bakhtiyar Kadirbergenov, activists Bayram Seitmuratov, Kaharman Seitimov, Polat Nurniyazov, Sayypnazar Kalimov, Nurlan Seitmuratov, Arslanbek Temirkhanov, Amantai Seitmuratov, Tabyskan Kanatov, Azamat Turdanov, Salamat Turdanov, human rights defenders Aymgul Khudainazarova, Zulfiya Pirmanova, Bakhtiyar Niyetullayev, Bakhtiyar Zhaksymbetov, and others. In the capital city of Karakalpakstan, Nukus, alone, over 35 activists are under house arrest. 

The conditions imposed on these individuals are severe:

1. According to the court ruling, they must remain at home from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM for four years or more.

2. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan requires them to report to the local police station at least once a month for inspections, where they endure preventive talks and threats of imprisonment.

3. They are forbidden from leaving the territory of Karakalpakstan.

4. They are prohibited from participating in public events or protests.

5. They are banned from using the internet.

6. They are barred from meeting with human rights defenders, journalists, or activists.

7. They cannot change their residence without permission from the probation officer.

8. They must sign statements agreeing to imprisonment in Uzbekistan if they violate these conditions.

Freedom for Eurasia views this trial of journalists, human rights defenders, and activists as evidence of the dictatorial regime of the President of Uzbekistan, aimed at destroying freedom of speech, thought, and democratic principles and annihilating the civil society of Karakalpakstan.

Freedom for Eurasia believes that only sanctions against the President of Uzbekistan and the freezing of overseas accounts of his associates can stop the genocide against the Karakalpaks. Recently Ozodlik article highlighted how the relatives and in-laws of the President of Uzbekistan are enriching themselves. This vast wealth comes at the cost of the people. To defend its ill-gotten gains the regime is trying to suppress any pluralism and dissent in the country. Sanctions and the freezing of foreign assets for corruption and human rights abuses of dictatorial kleptocracy such as Uzbekistan is long overdue.

Freedom for Eurasia demands an independent international investigation into the violent suppression of peaceful Karakalpakstan protest by Uzbek forces which left hundreds dead, wounded and unlawfully imprisoned.

Freedom for Eurasia appeals to international human rights organizations and diplomatic representatives of democratic countries worldwide to stop the President of Uzbekistan from persecuting Karakalpaks in Karakalpakstan and abroad. Currently, about 100 political prisoners from Karakalpakstan are held in Uzbek prisons. Freedom for Eurasia demands the release of all Karakalpak political prisoners.

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