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Upcoming Uzbek Supreme court revision of sentence for Group 22 including Karakalpak human rights defender Dauletmurat Tajimuratov

The Supreme Court Uzbekistan has scheduled the review of the case involving 22 individuals convicted in connection with the peaceful protests in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, on 1-2 July. The hearing is scheduled for 22 April at 11:10 (GMT+5).

Dauletmurat Tajimuratov, a human rights defender who advocated for Karakalpakstan’s sovereignty and secession from Uzbekistan, has been sentenced to sixteen years in a maximum-security prison. Tajimuratov’s charges are clearly politically motivated, stemming from his influential position and advocacy work. Throughout his speeches, Tajimuratov consistently emphasizes the importance and the exercise of rights as outlined in the Constitution of Karakalpakstan and Uzbekistan and that it is not a crime to dream and speak about independence and freedom. Out of the 22 individuals convicted, only Tajimuratov’s case was not reconsidered, resulting in a maximum prison sentence.

During the investigation and trial, Tajimuratov and his defenders repeatedly highlighted procedural violations in the legal process, including allegations of torture Tajimuratov endured. Freedom for Eurasia shared details of the torture Tajimuratov faced while in prison.

Freedom for Eurasia and numerous international human rights organizations have asserted that the charges against Dauletmurat Tajimuratov lack justification, as his actions were not in violation of the law. United Nations Special Rapporteurs Ms. Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association stated that “The human rights defender has been subjected to physical and psychological harassment by the detention officers in the pre-trial detention center No. 11 in Urgench”. “His head was forcibly shaved, and prison officers forced other detainees to intimidate and harass him. His condition in prison is of grave concern.”

There is little hope that the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan will prioritize the principles of law over political considerations and political motivation in this case, and therefore we demand Uzbek authorities to release Dauletmurat Tajimuratov immediately.

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