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Uzbekistan: Fear of torture / Fear for safety, Yusuf Dzhumaev, poet

, Index number: EUR 62/017/2001

Uzbek poet Yusuf Dzhumaev, a member of the banned secular opposition movement Birlik ("Unity"), was arrested on 23 October. He has reportedly been tortured, while held in the basement of the National Security Service (SNB) detention facility in the city of Bukhara.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 62/017/2001
UA 285/01 Fear of torture / Fear for safety 7 November 2001
UZBEKISTANYusuf Dzhumaev (____ _______), poet
Uzbek poet Yusuf Dzhumaev, a member of the banned secular opposition movement
Birlik ("Unity"), was arrested on 23 October. He has reportedly been tortured,
while held in the basement of the National Security Service (SNB) detention
facility in the city of Bukhara.
Father of six Yusuf Dzhumaev was arrested by officers of the SNB’s Bukhara
regional branch at 7.30am. They searched his home and reportedly confiscated
his poems, his daughter’s poems and books by Uzbek writers. The SNB officers
apparently told him he was being arrested in connection with the publication
of his poems on a Muslim website that the authorities reportedly considered
to be subversive. Based on these allegations, Yusuf Dzhumaev is said to have
been charged with "undermining the constitutional order of the Republic of
Uzbekistan".
Representatives of several independent human rights organizations in Uzbekistan
believe that he was arrested because he had openly criticized a number of
officials of the Karakul district of the Bukhara region, where he used to live,
and accused some of them of corruption. Local police and procuracy officials
had reportedly warned him not to "dig into other people’s affairs".
A number of people have died in custody in suspicious circumstances in Uzbekistan
over the past few years. Shovruk Ruzimuradov -- who headed Birlik in the southern
Kashkadarya region in the early 1990s and who was the regional head of the
non-governmental Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan -- died in custody earlier
this year, reportedly as a result of torture.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Uzbek authorities have used a series of bomb explosions in February 1999
in the capital, Tashkent, and other violent incidents, to justify a clampdown
on individuals and groups they perceive as a threat to their authority and
the country’s stability. Those reported to have been arrested, and allegedly
ill-treated and tortured, have ranged from members and suspected supporters
of the banned secular political opposition parties and movements Erk and Birlik,
to alleged supporters of banned Islamic opposition movements or parties, such
as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, including members of their families, as well as independent
human rights monitors. Thousands of devout Muslims and dozens of members or
supporters of Erk and Birlik -- convicted after unfair trials of membership
of an illegal party, distribution of illegal religious literature and anti-state
activities -- are currently serving long prison sentences.
Birlik was Uzbekistan's first main opposition movement following independence
in 1991. Birlik was granted official registration as a movement in 1991; however,
it was denied registration as a political party. Following a clampdown against
government opponents in 1992, Birlik was effectively outlawed.
Amnesty International is particularly concerned that Uzbekistan may use the
"international fight against terrorism" as an opportunity to further clamp
down on the country’s internal opposition, with greater impunity than ever
before. Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan, is one of the main allies of
the US-led coalition in the region. At least 1,000 US ground troops are based
at the Khanabad military base in the south of the country.
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RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
English, Russian, Uzbek or your own language:
- expressing concern at allegations that Yusuf Dzhumaev has been tortured in
the detention facility of the National Security Service in Bukhara following
his arrest on 23 October;
- urging the authorities to ensure his safety and to open a prompt and impartial
investigation into the allegations of torture, with the results made public
and those found responsible brought to justice;
- expressing concern at allegations that Yusuf Dzhumaev was detained solely
for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, in violation
of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
to which Uzbekistan is a party;
- expressing concern at allegations that the criminal charge against Yusuf
Dzhumaev has been brought solely to punish him for exercising his fundamental
right to freedom of expression, and pointing out that, if so, Amnesty
International will regard him as a prisoner of conscience, who should be released
immediately and unconditionally.
APPEALS TO (Please note that it may be difficult to send faxes. If a voice
answers during office hours, repeat 'fax' until connected; fax machines may
be switched off outside office hours -five hours ahead of GMT):
President, Islam Abduganiyevich KARIMOV
Respublika Uzbekistan; 700163 g. Tashkent; ul. Uzbekistanskaya, 43; Rezidentsia
prezidenta;
Prezidentu Respubliki Uzbekistan; KARIMOVU I.A., UZBEKISTAN
Faxes:+ 998 71 - 2 89 00 46 (Write on the top of your fax: "Tel.: 139 53 75;
139 82 60; 139 59 29; Prezidentu Respubliki Uzbekistan; KARIMOVU
I.A.")
Telegrams:Prezidentu Karimovu, 700163 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
e-mails:uzinfo@uzinfo.gov.uz (if your e-mail bounces back, please fax it if
possible)
Salutation:Dear President Karimov,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulaziz Khafizovich KOMILOV
Respublika Uzbekistan; 700029 g. Tashkent; pl. Mustakillik, 5; Ministerstvo
inostrannykh del
Respubliki Uzbekistan; Ministru KOMILOVU A.Kh., UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams:Ministru inostranykh del, 700029 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Salutation:Dear Minister,
Faxes: + 998 71 139 15 17
General Procurator, Rashidjon Hamidovich KODIROV
Respublika Uzbekistan; 700047 g. Tashkent; ul. Gulyamova, 66; Prokuratura
Respubliki Uzbekistan; Generalnomu prokuroru; KODIROVU R. Kh., UZBEKISTAN
Telegrams: Generalnomu prokuroru,700047 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Fax:+ 998 71 133 99 36
Salutation: Dear Procurator General
COPIES TO:
Chairman of the National Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Rustam
INOYATOV
Respublika Uzbekistan; g. Tashkent; ul. Novruz, 1; Natsionalnaya sluzhba
bezopasnosti Respubliki Uzbekistan; Predsedatelyu INOYATOVU R., UZBEKISTAN
Head of the National Centre for Human Rights, Akhmal SAIDOV
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Respublika Uzbekistan; 700008 g. Tashkent; 5/3, Mustakillik Maidoni;
Natsionalny tsentr po pravam cheloveka; Predsedatelyu SAIDOV, A., UZBEKISTAN
Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Sayora RASHIDOVA (Ms)
Respublika Uzbekistan; 700035 g. Tashkent; ul. Xalqlar Do’stligi, 1; Oliy Majlis
Respubliki Uzbekistan; Upolnomochennoy po pravam cheloveka pri Oliy Majlis;
RASHIDOVOY S., UZBEKISTAN
and to diplomatic representatives of Uzbekistan accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 19 December 2001.

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