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Zhumasapar Dadebaev, activist from Karakalpakstan, subjected to inhumane treatment in prison

Zhumasapar Dadebaev, an ethnic Turkmen activist from Karakalpakstan, was abducted in January 2022 while seeking asylum in Turkey by Uzbek special forces. In 2023 he was charged with Article 150 – war propaganda, Article 153 – genocide, Article 155 Part 1 – terrorism,  Article 156 Part 2 – incitement of national or religious hatred by a group of persons, Article 158 Part 3 – insult or slander against the President, Article 139, part 3, clause a) d) – slander, Article 140, part 3, clause a) – insult in connection with the performance of official duty, Article 159 Part 4 – conspiracy to seize power, Article 215 – desecration of state symbols, 244 part 3 – organization of mass riots, 244.1 part 3 p. d) – production, storage and distribution of materials containing a threat to public safety, 244.2 part 1 – creation, management, participation in religious extremist, separatist or other prohibited organizations, Article 246 Part 1 – smuggling.

On 10 August 2023 he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Through his father, he managed to convey a letter to the Ombudsperson of Uzbekistan. In this letter, Zhumasapar revealed that he had been moved from his previous detention facility in Karshi to a prison in Navoi. He described the conditions in his new cell as unbearable, likening it more to a rat hole than a proper cell. Additionally, Zh.Dadebaev claimed that his transfer had been instigated by the prison’s head in Karshi, Temurov Jasur, as a personal revenge for his and his family’s stance against unjust imprisonment.

According to Zhumasapar’s father, Egenmurat Dadebaev, during a visit with his son on 29 April 2024 in the new prison, they were forced to speak in Uzbek by the security personnel. Zhumasapar Dadebaev is of Turkmen ethnicity from Karakalpakstan, and he has previously voiced concerns about being targeted due to his ethnicity. In our previous reports, we have also highlighted his accounts of suffering systematic torture in prison and facing threats from fellow inmates.

Freedom for Eurasia calls upon the Government of Uzbekistan and the Ombudsperson to take immediate action to protect Zhumasapar Dadebaev from torture and mistreatment in prison. 

Additionally, we urge Uzbekistan to review the court’s decision regarding Zhumasapar Dadebaev and to open an investigation into the special forces responsible for forcibly abducting him from Turkey.

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