EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 62/27/93
29 October 1993
Further information on UA 254/93 (EUR 62/22/93, 4 August 1993) and follow-up
EUR 62/25/93, 18 August 1993 - Legal Concern and new concern: Fear of
UZBEKISTAN Pulat AKHUNOV
(in cyrillic _____ ______)
Amnesty International fears that political activist Pulat Akhunov, who is a
probable prisoner of conscience, is at serious risk of being ill-treated in
detention. Currently serving a total of four and a half years' imprisonment
for allegedly fabricated criminal charges, Pulat Akhunov has reportedly been
transferred recently to a prison camp for especially dangerous criminals.
Amnesty International fears that this transfer was organized by the authorities
deliberately to place Pulat Akhunov at risk of violence from his fellow inmates.
Pulat Akhunov is a deputy chairman of the opposition Birlik (Unity) movement
and a former deputy to the USSR Supreme Soviet. He was born in 1962 and is
a teacher of biology by profession. He was arrested in July 1992 and tried
in December in Andizhan Regional Court for "malicious hooliganism", for which
he was sentenced to 18 months in a labour camp. It has been alleged that the
case, which concerned an alleged assault, was fabricated because of Pulat
Akhunov's opposition political activities. While in prison in Andizhan pending
the outcome of an appeal against this conviction he was charged in February
1993 with illegal possession of narcotics and with assaulting a prison guard.
It has been alleged that these charges were also fabricated. Pulat Akhunov
was tried on these additional charges and sentenced in August to an additional
three years' imprisonment.
Pulat Akhunov was apparently ordered to serve his sentence at a "reinforced
regime" corrective labour colony (there are four kinds of labour colony in
the Uzbekistan penal system, which increase in severity: "ordinary",
"reinforced", "strict" and "special"). However, he was reportedly sent in
September to a corrective labour colony in Kyzyltepinsky district, Navoi Region,
which is classified as either "strict" or "special regime", and which is used
to detain especially dangerous criminals.
During the period when there were large numbers of prisoners of conscience
in the Soviet Union, Amnesty International learned of numerous instances when
prisoners of conscience were subjected to physical attack by criminal prisoners,
acting with the connivance or protection of the authorities. Amnesty