16th session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue on SR HR defenders
10 March 2011
Delivered by Slava Mamedov
Thank you Mr. President,
CIVICUS thanks the Special Rapporteur, Ms Sekaggya, for her report and for her focus on women human rights defenders. We also welcome the detailed information on communications contained in Addendum1 of the report. We wish to highlight the sections on Turkmenistan (pages 317-318) and on Uzbekistan (pages 325-332)
Speaking here as an exiled Turkmen Human rights defender, I want to underscore that Turkmenistan gave only one response to 34 requests and has yet to deliver an invitation to any Special Rapporteur. Neither has Uzbekistan responded to the repeated requests for visits for more than 10 years. Yet, torture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan countries continues to be routine component of investigations and detention, and is a common practice in the penal systems.
In particular, people linked with the Andijan events of 2005 (when government troups opened fire on peaceful protestors), including innocent family members, are routinely detained, brought up on bogus charges, and subjected to long years of bodily torture and psychological terror. Notably, medical personnel often play a roll in concealing evidence and fabricating fake documents which make filing charges impossible.
CIVICUS would like to express solidarity with all those mentioned in the report and with Hadzhiev Sapardurdi and Amanklichev Annakurban, social activists sentenced to lengthy jail terms and having experienced torture. We especially like to recall Akram Yuldashev, the little known founder of the Uzbek civil movement who, a simple mathematics teacher, helped thousands out of poverty during the 90's. In 1998 Akram Yuldashev was accused of being a terrorist and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
After years of cruel torture, he disappeared. He was last seen in 2005.
We call on the SR on HR Defenders to make an urgent appeal, in cooperation with her colleagues, the SR on Torture, the WGs on Arbitraty Detention and Involuntary Disappearances to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to grant a visit to their countries. Thank you.