PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 62/017/2002
28 November 2002
Further information on UA 276/02 (EUR 62/012/2002, 4 September 2002) Possible
death penalty/torture and ill treatment/Unfair trial
UZBEKISTAN Iskandar Khudoberganov (m), aged 28
Bekzod Kasymbekov (m), aged 27
Nosirkhon Khakimov (m), aged 28
On 28 November, Tashkent City Court handed down a death sentence against Iskandar
Khudoberganov. Both Nosirkhon Khakimov and Bekzod Kasymbekov were sentenced
to 16 years' imprisonment. Three other co-defendants were sentenced to between
six and 10 years in prison. Any appeals against the sentences must be lodged
with the Presidium of Tashkent City Court.
The men were found guilty of charges including religious extremism and serious
anti state crimes, such as “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”
and “setting up an illegal group”.
Iskandar Khudoberganov's sister stated shortly after the trial ended: "The
defendants were surrounded by armed guards in court and were immediately taken
out of the courtroom once the verdict was pronounced without being able to
talk to their families." She added: "The court didn't have any evidence!"
Amnesty International has documented numerous serious violations of
international human rights standards during the investigation and the trial.
These included strong indications that the 'confessions' of at least some of
the defendants had been extracted under torture. The presiding judge has
continuously dismissed allegations of torture.
Tamara Chikunova of the group "Mothers against the Death Penalty and Torture",
who attended the court hearing, also told Amnesty International: "The main
thing is that these cases are built exclusively on confessions extracted under
torture. And although the defendants openly spoke at the court hearings about
physical pressure exerted on them by investigators and guards, the judge not
only never ordered an investigation into these allegations, but he simply said
'you just make this up to get away from your responsibility'."
Mikhail Ardzinov, chairman of the Independent Human Rights Organization of
Uzbekistan told Amnesty International: "There is no concrete evidence in the
case; it wasn't said when and where the defendants were supposed to have
committed the crimes, and what exactly they had allegedly done. The cases are
based solely on confessions and these confessions were extracted under beatings.
I have heard most of the text of the verdict hundreds of times at previous
trials. It's just copied and pasted from previous verdicts." He added: "These
cases certainly have a political slant."
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
English, Russian, Uzbek or your own language:
-expressing concern that Iskandar Khudoberganov was sentenced to death by
Tashkent City Court on 28 November 2002;
-expressing serious concern that the court hearings failed to meet international
standards for a fair trial;
-expressing concern at allegations that Iskandar Khudoberganov, Bekzod
Kasymbekov, Nosirkhon Khakimov were tortured, and that some of their family