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Uzbek authorities continue subjecting Dauletmurat Tajimuratov to cruel and inhumane treatment

We received credible information from Dauletmurat Tadzhimuratov’s lawyer, Sergey Mayorov, that the Uzbek authorities created intolerable conditions of detention for Tajimuratov, sentenced to 16 years in prison for his rights work for Karakalpak minority in Uzbekistan.

On November 28, 2023, the lawyer visited Dauletmurat in prison in the city of Navoi. The regime of detention of Daulemurath is organized in such a way as to make his situation as tough as possible. He is not allowed to send letters from the colony. Letters addressed to him are not delivered to him. He is isolated from other prisoners, creating an oppressive atmosphere, creating additional artificial difficulties to kill the spirit of the human rights defender.

Methods of humiliation and insult from the administration of the colony:

Tajimuratov also shared that when food is brought to him, he is required to thank the administration of the colony aloud for the food provided. After that, he must sing at least 4 verses the anthem of Uzbekistan. Naturally, he objects to that. For his refusal, violations of the regime accumulate in order to create a formal reason to transfer him from the prison regime to the punishment cell (“Karzer” – a solitary confinement) – where the conditions of detention are even more cruel. He is not allowed to listen to the radio, but this prohibition is likely to apply to others as well. He is not allowed to read the press. Even when he asks the guard what time it is, and there is a clock hanging above the guard, he is instructed not to tell the time to the prisoner. It is clear that a person who is in a cell around the clock does not have the opportunity to navigate in time, and this is done on purpose, to humiliate him, to blunt his sense of reality, hope for freedom, to break his spirit so that he begins to obey the illegal demands of the administration. During a summer visit to the prison, the lawyer and Dauletmurat decided to appeal to the authorities to change the prison regime of his detention. As expected, their appeal was refused. Now everything is being done to ensure that he stays in the prison for as long as possible, and documents are being prepared for transfer to the punishment cell in order to add another article to his existing charges, such as non-compliance with the detention regime.

There are examples of torture and inhumane and cruel treatment

Until October 20, 2023, Dauletmurat slept on a bare mattress, without a sheet or a pillow and without a blanket. On October 20, he was given bed linen for the first time. Until November, he was in solitary confinement, which is also a method of pressure. He was not given the opportunity to work as other prisoners do. At the same time, in November, the prison administration, consisting of 10 people, drew up a report that he was evading work. This is an additional confirmation of the preparation of his transfer to a punishment cell.

Dauletmurat’s life is in danger

He recently received a cellmate, a man sentenced to 22 years for murder, and apparently the administration hopes to deal with the Karakalpak activist by killing him. The killer has nothing to lose, and if he receives an order to kill Dauletmurat, there is no doubt that he will carry out this order and in this case the blame will lie entirely with the administration.

Denial of medical help

Dauletmurat also needs treatment. But doctors do not have sufficient capacity to diagnose his disease and to treat it. Therefore, he is given painkillers, which not only no longer work and do not help with pain, but are also rejected by his body.

He has been assigned a strict regime in prison, which is also illegal. Under Uzbek law, a strict regime is imposed only on those persons with past criminal records. Dauletmurat did serve his sentence in the past, but his criminal record has already been extinguished according to Uzbek law. Under Uzbek law, they did not have the right to impose a strict regime on him.

We would like to point out that convicts and prisoners also have certain rights established by law. In particular, Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan establishes that persons deprived of their liberty have the right to humane treatment and respect for the honor and dignity inherent in the human person.

Moreover, according to Article 26 of Uzbek Basic Law, “The honor and dignity of a person are inviolable. Nothing can be grounds for belittling them. No one may be subjected to torture, violence, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…”

Based on all of the above, we call on Uzbek authorities to observe the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules) in regard to treatment of Dauletmurat Tajimuratov and ensure his fundamental rights and inherent dignity are respected. We also call on Uzbek authorities to ensure the safety of Dauletmurat Tajimuratov and take measures to prevent a cellmate from attacking him with a view to physically harm or eliminate him. Dauletmurat Tajimuratov must also be granted access to proper medical help.

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