Uzbekistan: Fear of imminent execution
Nikolay Ganiyev, Maksim Strakhov, and Nigmatullo Fayzullayev are in imminent danger of execution. Their only hope is that the president grants clemency.
PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 62/007/2001
EXTRA 41/01 Fear of imminent execution 5 July 2001
Nikolay Ganiyev (aged 22)
Maksim Strakhov (aged 24) and Nigmatullo Fayzullayev (aged 26)
Nikolay Ganiyev, Maksim Strakhov and Nigmatullo Fayzullayev are in imminent
danger of execution. Their only hope is that the president grants clemency.
Nikolay Ganiyev was sentenced to death on 29 March 2001 by Tashkent City Court
for premeditated aggravated murder. The Appeals Board of Tashkent City Court
turned down his appeal against the sentence on 1 June.
In a separate case, Nigmatullo Fayzullayev and Maksim Strakhov were sentenced
to death by Tashkent City Court on 18 April 2001 for premeditated aggravated
murder. The Appeals Board of Tashkent City Court upheld their death sentences
on 29 May 2001.
According to Nikolay Ganiyev’s mother, on 1 August 2000 her son was summoned
to a local district office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD)in Tashkent
to be questioned as a witness about the murder of one of his female acquaintances.
When he failed to return home that night she went looking for him and found
him in the MVD office the next day: "I saw him handcuffed and he was hardly
able to walk. It was obvious that they had beaten him." In a letter to his
family, which he managed to give to his mother at his trial, Nikolay Ganiyev
wrote: "I wouldn’t have thought our police capable of inflicting such
humiliation. They beat me severely." Nikolay Ganiyev confessed to the murder,
but denied that it was premeditated.
Nikolay Ganiyev’s mother said she had been trying to talk to the authorities,
to appeal for clemency for her son: "They close their doors in front of me;
they didn’t let me or the lawyer speak at the trial; they build up a big wall
around themselves so that no one can reach them."
Maksim Strakhov’s mother reported that when her son was arrested on 2 October
2000, he was severely beaten by law enforcement officers for more than three
days. "They made me run the gauntlet", wrote Maksim Strakhov in a letter to
his mother. “As a result of ill-treatment the right half of his face is still
aching," his mother said. According to her, his lawyer never had a meeting
with his client without the investigator being present.
Maksim Strakhov wrote in a letter to his mother: "I am a murderer, but I didn’t
want to kill anyone. I lost my mind. It frightens me, that I don’t remember
how it happened." Maksim Strakhov reportedly previously received psychiatric
treatment for post-traumatic stress symptoms after military service in
Chechnya. According to his lawyer, he was thought to be at risk of suicide
during the pre-trial investigation, but the court of first instance and the
Appeal Board failed to take either into account when reaching their verdict.
Uzbekistan retains the death penalty for eight offences, including
premeditated, aggravated murder. In 1998, the Oliy Majlis (parliament) removed
the death penalty from the criminal code for five other offences. The
Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights in Uzbekistan, Sayora Rashidova,
told Amnesty International in 1998 that this development was part of
Uzbekistan’s policy to "abolish the death penalty by stages". However, Amnesty
International is aware of no other steps in this direction since then and
continues to hear of many new death sentences.
Information on the death penalty is regarded a state secret in Uzbekistan,
and comprehensive statistics on death sentences and executions are not made
public. Families often do not know whether their relative is still alive; where
the execution takes place or where the body is buried.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in
Russian, English, Uzbek or your own language:
- urging the President to use his constitutional authority to commute these
death sentences as well as all other death sentences that come before him;
- expressing concern at allegations that Nikolay Ganiyev and Maksim Strakhov
were ill-treated in detention and asking the authorities to launch an
independent and impartial investigation into these allegations;
- expressing sympathy for the victims of crime and their families, but pointing
out that the death penalty has never been shown to deter crime more effectively
than other punishments, and is brutalizing to all those involved in its
- urging the authorities to impose a moratorium on death sentences and
executions, in line with the international trend towards abolition of the death
penalty and the statement from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights.
APPEALS TO:(Please note that fax numbers are difficult to obtain. 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 of the Republic of Uzbekistan
700163 g. Tashkent
ul. Uzbekistanskaya, 43
Prezidentu Respubliki Uzbekistan
Telegrams: Prezidentu Karimovu, 700163 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Faxes: + 998 71 139 53 15 / 139 53 25 / 139 53 10
Salutation: Dear President Karimov
Head of the Clemency Department at the President's Office
700000 g. Tashkent
Otdel po voprosam pomilovaniya
Telegrams: Akhmanovu N., Otdel pomilovaniya, 700000 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Salutation: Dear Mr Akhmanov
Oliy Majlis Commissioner for Human Rights
700008 g. Tashkent
pl. Mustakillik, 2
Oliy Majlis Respubliki Uzbekistan
Upolnomochennoy po pravam
cheloveka pri Oliy Majlis
Faxes: + 998 71 139 85 55
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan
700029 g. Tashkent
pl. Mustakillik, 5
Ministerstvo inostrannykh del
Ministru KOMILOVU A.Kh.
Faxes: + 998 71 139 15 17
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 2 August 2001