PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 62/07/99
UA 55/99 Possible prisoners of conscience/fear for safety/
incommunicado detention 24 March 1999
UZBEKISTANUmarkhon Nazarov, aged 33
Akhmadali Salomov, aged 49
Abdurashid Nasriddinov, aged 29
Amnesty International fears for the safety of the three men named above, detained
on 28 February and 17 March 1999, reportedly charged with “attempting to
overthrow the constitutional order of Uzbekistan”. People tried on these charges
in Uzbekistan regularly allege they have been tortured to force them to confess.
These detentions appear to be part of a clampdown on so-called “Islamic
extremists” and others, including the banned political opposition, their
families and associates, whom President Karimov has blamed for a series of
bomb explosions in the capital, Tashkent, on 16 February. All three detainees
are related to independent Islamic leader Obidkhon Nazarov, wanted by the Uzbek
authorities for allegedly promoting "Wahhabism"(an extreme form of Islam),
preaching illegally and trying to set up an Islamic state.
Umarkhon Nazarov is one of Obidkhon Nazarov’s younger brothers and a citizen
of the neighbouring republic of Kyrgyzstan. On 17 March he was visiting his
uncle Akhmadali Salomov in Namangan, Uzbekistan, when 15 armed police burst
in, apparently looking for Obidkhon Nazarov. Both men were detained on charges
of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order of Uzbekistan. Umarkhon
Nazarov is currently detained in the Namangan regional police department. On
22 March his lawyer was granted access, but his family has not been allowed
to see him. Akhmadali Salomov is at the Namangan regional department of internal
affairs. He has not been allowed to see his lawyer or his family.
Obidkhon Nazarov’s youngest brother, Abdumalik, is currently serving nine years
in prison on charges of possessing narcotics. Amnesty International believes
the charges were fabricated, brought solely because he is Obidkhon Nazarov’s
Abdurashid Nasriddinov is the brother of Obidkhon Nazarov’s wife, Munira
Nasriddinova, herself recently detained for 10 days. He was arrested on 28
February in Namangan and charged with attempting to overthrow the constitutional
order of Uzbekistan and organizing mass disturbances. He is in Namangan prison
and has been denied access to a lawyer and his family.
The authorities are reportedly planning to transfer Umarkhon Nazarov, Akhmadali
Salomov and Abdurashid Nasriddinov to the same prison and to link their criminal
cases, charging them additionally with being members of an armed criminal gang.
Amnesty International is concerned that the government is using the
investigation into the Tashkent bombings as a pretext to clamp down on perceived
sources of opposition to President Karimov. Scores of known or suspected
opposition supporters, and suspected members of independent Islamic
congregations, have been arbitrarily detained.
During a recent campaign against the perceived spread of "Wahhabism", Amnesty
International believes that people may have been imprisoned solely for their
alleged affiliation to independent Islamic congregations. Scores of men were