EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: EUR 62/17/93
UA 233/93 Prisoners of conscience 16 July 1993
UZBEKISTAN: Babur Shakirov
(in cyrillic _____ _______
Amnesty International is concerned that the above six men, who went on trial
in the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan on 1 July 1993, would be prisoners of
conscience if convicted. They face a minimum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment,
and possibly the death penalty. With the trial now underway and the prospect
of sentencing being imminent, it is vital that the maximum possible pressure
is exerted on behalf of all six defendants. Amnesty International is therefore
appealing to the authorities for the immediate and unconditional release of
those currently in detention, Babur Shakirov, Khazratkul Khudayberdi and
Salavat Umurzakov, and pointing out that all six men will be considered prisoners
of conscience if convicted.
They are charged under Article 62 of the criminal code with "organization
activity directed towards commission of especially dangerous state crimes,
and participation in an anti-government organization". The charge relates
to their membership of a non-violent social organization-in-formation called
Milli Mejlis (National Council), the draft statute of which envisaged it as
a parliamentary-style forum uniting opposition parties and movements. If
convicted under Article 62, these men face a minimum sentence of 10 years'
imprisonment, and possibly the death penalty. Babur Shakirov, Khazratkul
Khudayberdi and Salavat Umurzakov are currently in detention and are already
considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience.
Since mid-1992 a clampdown against government opponents has been intensifying.
In addition to the subjects of this Urgent Action, other opposition activists
have been prosecuted for slandering the President, or convicted on possibly
falsified criminal charges. Government opponents have been beaten by unknown
assailants on the streets, and the authorities appear to have taken few steps