Re: Mr. Ikhtior Khamroev
To: President Islam Abduganiyeich Karimov and others
From: Russell C. MacKay
I am writing, as a member of LRWC, in response to information obtained from the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights indicating that Mr. Ikhtior Khamroev has been subjected to arbitrary detention.
In particular, I am informed of the following occurrences:
1. Mr. Ikhtior Khamroev (Mr. Khamroev) is the son of Mr. Bakhtior Khamroev, head of the Djizak section of the Human Rights Society in Uzbekistan (HRSU). Mr. Khamroev is a second-year student at the Technological University of Djizak;
2. On July 23rd, 2006, Mr. Khamroev was accosted, harassed and assaulted by a group of young men when he left his house to purchase bread. He received a severe beating at the hands of these men. No complaint was made to the authorities about this occurrence;
3. On August 2, 2006 the police of Djizak arrested Mr. Khamroev and opened an inquiry against him. He was interrogated for more than eight hours without being given access to a lawyer. He was then charged with “hooliganism” under article 277 of the Uzbek Criminal Code (Chapter XX: Crimes against public order), and is facing from 5 to 8 years of prison. At this date, he is still detained;
4. On August 8, 2006, Mr. Bakhtior Khamroev was summoned by Mr. Akram Isamov, a police investigator, to be interrogated as a witness in the case involving his son;
I am also informed that the home of Mr. Bakhtior Khamroev was been broken into by a group of seventy people on May 22, 2005. Mr. Bakhtior Khamroev and other members of his family were beaten, threatened with death and insulted. This was done under the orders and at the direction of Mr. Ubdibulla Yamankulov. Mr. Yamankulov is head of the Administration of the Djizak region.
The failure or refusal to allow Mr. Khamroev access to a lawyer is a blatant violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which was ratified by Uzbekistan in September 2003.
Uzbekistan has a responsibility to adopt such measures as are necessary to guarantee the life and physical safety of Mr. Khamroev and his family. This duty arises from Uzbekistan’s membership in the United Nations (UN) and its ratification of several UN conventions and covenants including:
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Dec/23/03;
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Dec/28/1995;
- Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment – Oct/28/95.
- Declaration of Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998.
LRWC respectfully urges your government to act in accordance with the spirit and letter of these provisions. In particular we request at a minimum that the Government of Uzbekistan:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Ikhtior Khamroev and Bakhtior Khamroev, and their family members;
ii. Release Mr. Khamroev immediately and unconditionally since his detention is arbitrary. Alternatively, have the legality of his detention determined by an independent and impartial judicial authority and provide him the full opportunity through a lawyer of his choosing to make representations;
iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Khamroev and his family as well as all other human rights defenders in Uzbekistan;
iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” and article 12.2, which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration;
v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Uzbekistan
The harassment, threats and violence directed towards Mr. Khamroev and his family cannot be seen as anything other than an alarming signal of very serious deterioration of the rule of law in Uzbekistan under the current regime. Accordingly, LRWC calls for an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into the threats, assault, intimidation and detention of Mr. Khamroev and the ongoing harassment and intimidation of his family. LRWC further calls for the results of this investigation to be made public, and for those responsible to be brought to justice. LRWC also calls upon the government of Uzbekistan to take swift and effective action to ensure the security of all human rights defenders so they can continue to carry out their legitimate and important work defending human rights.
Please advise LRWC by mail, e-mail or fax of the actions that the government of Uzbekistan is taking to:
1. ensure the present and future safety of Mr. Khamroev, his family and other human rights advocates in Uzbekistan;
2. investigate the threats, assaults, intimidation and detention of Mr. Khamroev and intimidation of his family;
3. Identify and call to account the perpetrators of these acts.
LRWC awaits your response. Thank you for your attention to our concerns.