The decision of the Chui Regional Court on 24 January not to release prisoner of conscience Azimjan Askarov and overturn his conviction following its review of the case represents a grave setback for human rights in Kyrgyzstan. With the UN Human Rights Committee’s findings issued last year that human rights defender Azimjan Askarov should be immediately released, adequately compensated, and his conviction quashed, the justice system in Kyrgyzstan had the chance to right the wrongs committed against Azimjan Askarov. That chance has been squandered. Instead, the court ruled that Azimjan Askarov must remain behind bars and Kyrgyzstan has once again failed to comply with its international human rights obligations.
Amnesty International calls on the Kyrgyzstani authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Azimjan Askarov.