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Uzbekistan: Possible prisoners of conscience / fear for safety / incommunicado detention

, Index number: EUR 62/007/1999

Amnesty International fears for the safety of Umarkhon Nazarov, Akhmadali Salomov and Abdurashid Nasriddinov who were detained on 28 February and 17 March 1999. It is thought that the charges against them may relate to their relationship with Obidkhon Nazarov who is wanted by the authorities.

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
brother.
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.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
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
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sentenced during 1998 and early 1999 to long terms of imprisonment on charges
including terrorism, attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and
seeking to establish an Islamist state. Their trials were marked by allegations
that defendants were beaten and otherwise ill-treated in detention to force
them to confess. The organization is not aware that the Uzbek authorities have
investigated these allegations.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Russian, English or your own language:
- expressing concern at the detention of Umarkhon Nazarov, Akhmadali Samonov
and Abdurashid Nasriddinov
- expressing grave concern at allegations that they were arrested solely because
of their relationship to independent Imam Obidkhon Nazarov;
- urging that they be protected from any form of ill-treatment and be allowed
immediate access to their families and legal representatives.
APPEALS TO:
President of Uzbekistan, Islam KARIMOV
700163 g. Tashkent, 43 pr. Uzbekistansky,
Rezidentsiya Prezidenta, Prezidentu Karimovu I.A.,
UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams: Prezidentu Karimovu, 700163 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Faxes: + 998 71 139 5525 or 139 5510
Salutation:Dear President Karimov
Minister of Internal Affairs, Zakirzhan ALMATOV
700029 g. Tashkent, ul. Novruz, 1,
Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del, Ministru Almatovu Z.A.,
UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams: Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del, 700029 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Salutation:Dear Minister
Khokim (Governor) of Namangan Region, Tulkin DZHABBOROV
Namanganskaya oblast, g. Namangan
Khokimiat Namanganskoy oblasti, Khokimu DZHABBOROVU T.,
UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams: Khokimu Dzhabborovu, g. Namangan, Uzbekistan
Faxes: + 998 6922 66 343
Salutation:Dear Khokim
COPIES TO:
The Oliy Majlis (Parliamentary) Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Sayora
Rashidova
700008 g. Tashkent, pl. Mustakillik, 2, Oliy Majlis Respubliki Uzbekistan
Upolnomochenoy po pravam cheloveka pri Oliy Majlis Rashidovoy S., UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams: Human Rights Ombudsman, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Salutation: Dear Ms Rashidova
Procurator of Namangan Region, Kh. SABIROV
Namanganskaya oblast, g. Namangan
Prokuratura Namanganskoy oblasti, Prokuroru SABIROVU Kh.,
UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams: Oblastnomu Prokuroru Sabirovu, g. Namangan, Uzbekistan
Salutation: Dear Procurator
and to diplomatic representatives of Uzbekistan accredited to your country.
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PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 5 May 1999.

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