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Uzbekistan: Arrest of a brother of Karakalpak regime critic Aman Sagidullayev

Freedom for Eurasia has received troubling details regarding the arrest of Jumabay Sagidullayev, the brother of Aman Sagidullayev, leader of the democratic party “Alga Karakalpakstan.” Jumabay Sagidullayev, a 50-year-old native of Karakalpakstan, was arrested on May 27, 2024, by the court’s order in the Karauzyak district. He is currently detained in Nukus pre-trial detention center, Kos Kol 3.

Jumabay Sagidullayev fled Karakalpakstan in 2014 with his elder brother, Bakhyt Sagidullayev, due to the political persecution of their brother Aman Sagidullayev. They lived in Kyrgyzstan as asylum seekers until 2022. After being assured they would not face further persecution from the Uzbek authorities, they returned to Karakalpakstan. However, a year later, their elder brother, Bakhyt Sagidullayev (born 1961), was poisoned and has been bedridden for over a year.

As the youngest brother of Aman Sagidullayev, Jumabay Sagidullayev has faced severe harassment. Born in the Karauzyak district of Karakalpakstan, the Uzbek authorities have denied him a passport. Uzbek authorities unlawfully confiscated his livestock and property valued at 200,000 euros. Despite numerous appeals to the authorities of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and the President of Uzbekistan, his grievances were left unanswered by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the National Security Service of Uzbekistan. Instead, authorities chose to arrest him. His arrest was made on the same day when Freedom for Eurasia published information about his persecution in Karakalpakstan on May 27, 2024. 

This is not the first time Uzbek authorities harass family members of Aman Sagidullayev. On July 18, 2023 State Security Service officers arrived in two cars at the house of his sister Sulyukhan Sagidullaeva in the district center Karauzyak. On January 20, 2023 Sagidullayev’s wife Toktagul Aimuratova was detained in Turkey at the request of Uzbekistan. She was flying from Almaty to Norway and was transiting through Turkey. On May 10, 2023 Aman Sagidullayev, who received political asylum in Norway, was sentenced in absentia to 18 years on charges of attempting to disrupt the constitutional order, organizing mass unrest, distributing materials posing a threat to public security, and inflicting bodily harm. This information was published by the press secretary of the Supreme Court, Aziz Obidov.

Uzbek authorities must immediately release Jumabay Sagidullayev and stop harassment of relatives of regime critics. We call on democratic countries to sanction perpetrators of human rights abuses in Uzbekistan.

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