Human Rights Lawyer Tahiri Asanov

Re: Human Rights Lawyer Tahiri Asanov

To: Zarylbek Rysaliev

From: Dale Darychuck

Date: 2010-10-04

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada writes regarding our fellow lawyer, Tahiri Asanov. Mr. Asanov is defending a client accused of a number of charges arising from the June 2010 violence in Kyrgystan which resulted in the death of the Kara Suu Police Chief. At the trial of Mr. Asanov’s client on Septembrer 29, 2010, the accused men were held in a steel cage in the courtroom. During a break in the trial, the courtroom guards unlocked the steel cage and stood by while several uniformed officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) beat the accused men for about twenty minutes. The only other witnesses to these assaults were relatives of the deceased police chief. The MIA officers told the accused men that they would kill them if they told anyone of the beatings.

On September 30, 2010, Tahir Asanov requested an investigation into the beatings and insisted that the men receive independent medical examinations. Relatives of the murdered police chief then shouted insults at Tahir Asanov and physically attacked him, punching him several times. Courtroom officials were slow to restore order or to expel the perpetrators who continued to shout insults. After the hearing ended, the relatives followed Tahir Asanov outside the courtroom and continued to beat him. Police were present during this beating but did not intervene.

LRWC is concerned that officers of the MIA may carry out their threat to kill the accused men. We are also concerned that Tahir Asanov is at risk for further physical and verbal attacks as he continues his professional duty to defend his client. LRWC respectfully urges you to take immediate action to provide protection for the accused men and Tahir Asanov. We request that you conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations made by the accused men that they were beaten while in detention and that you ensure that the men receive an independent medical examination.

LRWC calls on court and police authorities to take immediate action to ensure that the trials related to the June 2010 violence are conducted in an orderly, fair and transparent manner. We note that Kyrgyzstan is a party to several international human rights treaties including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). We humbly request that the authorities act in accordance with these treaties.