Ikhtiyor Hamroev


Amnesty International have put out the following urgent appeal in the case of Ikhtiyor Hamroev. This means a lot to me because Ikhtiyor came out with his father Bakhtiyor to save me from a potentially extremely dangerous situtation when our Land Rover crashed on the ice in minus 30 degrees centigrade (Murder in Samarkand pages 140 to 143). The Hamroev family have suffered five years of continual assaults since.

Torture/health concern/possible prisoner of conscience

UZBEKISTAN

Ikhtior Khamroev (m), aged 22, student

Ikhtior Khamroev, who has been in jail since September 2006, was

reportedly severely beaten on 29 November. Sources inside the

prison have told his father that Ikhtior had also received stab

wounds to the abdomen, but was locked in a punishment cell rather

than taken to hospital. He is believed to have been detained

because of the activities of his father, a prominent human rights

defender, and may have been beaten to punish his father for his

recent anti-government statements.

He is the son of Bakhtior Khamroev, the head of the Dzhizzakh

section of the independent non-registered Human Rights Society of

Uzbekistan. He was detained in August 2006 on a reportedly

fabricated charge of “hooliganism” following a street fight with

other youths. His father has said he was provoked and acted in

self-defence. He was sentenced to three years in prison the

following month, and is now held in a prison camp in the Dzhizzakh

Region village of Chikurgan. He was severely beaten by prison

staff in December 2006 and refused appropriate medical treatment

for his injuries and other health problems. However, following

sustained international pressure his conditions of detention

improved noticeably: he was no longer ill-treated, received

medical treatment when necessary and was allowed regular visits by

his family.

His family were hoping that Ikhtior might be released early under

a December 2007 presidential amnesty, but when his mother visited

him on 29 November he told her that his sentence had been extended

by seven months for alleged “disciplinary offences”. He feared the

authorities would use this as a pretext to disqualify him from the

amnesty.

Sources inside the prison camp told Bakhtior Khamroev when he

visited on 1 December that during the night of 29 November Ikhtior

had been taken by prison guards to a punishment cell where he was

badly beaten, to force him to admit to further disciplinary

offences, which would almost certainly bar him from early release.

According to the same sources Ikhtior stabbed himself in the

abdomen in protest. It is not clear how he would have had a knife.

He was apparently refused appropriate medical treatment, and

locked in a punishment cell. The prison director has refused to

allow his parents to visit him, and has given them no details of

where he is held or his medical condition.

Since Ikhtior has been in prison, Bakhtior Khamroev had been less

outspoken in his criticism of the authorities’ human rights

record, so as not to worsen his son’s treatment. However he did

criticise them publicly at an international conference on human

rights defenders in the Irish capital, Dublin, at the end of

November, and so it is possible that Ikhtior was beaten to punish

his father. Bakhtior Khamroev made his speech just days after the

UN Committee against Torture concluded that torture and impunity

remained routine in Uzbekistan and criticized the authorities for

their harsh treatment of human rights defenders.

Bakhrom Khamroev has told human rights activists that the

authorities have stepped up their surveillance of him and his

family and that all his movements are closely monitored. .

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The situation for human rights defenders in Uzbekistan has

deteriorated during 2007, and the authorities have further

restricted their freedom of speech, assembly and movement in the

run-up to the December presidential elections. In the first four

months of 2007 two human rights defenders and an opposition

political activist were sentenced to long prison terms on what

appeared to be politically-motivated charges. Those human rights

activists not forced into exile and not in detention were

routinely monitored by uniformed or plainclothes police, called in

to their local police stations for questioning, placed under house

arrest or otherwise prevented from attending meetings with foreign

diplomats, or from taking part in peaceful demonstrations. Human

rights defenders reported being threatened by members of the

security forces for carrying out legitimate activities; several

reported being beaten and detained by police or people they

thought were working for the security services.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as

possible, in Russian, Uzbek, English or your own language:

– expressing concern at reports that Ikhtior Khamroev was severely

beaten on 29 November and that the prison authorities have refused

him the medical treatment he needs;

– urging the authorities to disclose Ikhtior Khamroev’s

whereabouts immediately;

– urging them to ensure that he receives all the medical treatment

he requires and is allowed visits from his family;

– calling on the authorities to promptly investigate the

allegations of ill-treatment and bring those responsible to

justice.

APPEALS TO: (Time difference = GMT + 5 hrs / BST + 4 hrs)

President, Islam KARIMOV

Presidential Residence, ul. Uzbekistanskaya, 43, g. Tashkent, UZBEKISTAN

Fax: 00998 71 139 53 25,

Email: [email protected]

[Salutation: Dear President Karimov]

Head of the Prison Service, Abdukarim SHODIEV

Ministry of Internal Affairs

UZBYM MVD Respubliki Uzbekistan,25, Ferganskoye shosse, 700005 g. Tashkent,UZBEKISTAN

Fax: 00998 71 133 89 34

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

[Salutation: Dear Minister]

PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO: His Excellency Mr Tukhtapulat Riskiev, Embassy of the

Republic of Uzbekistan, 41 Holland Park, London W11 3RP.

Fax: 020 7229 7029

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.uzbekembassy.org

AND, IF POSSIBLE, TO THE FOLLOWING:

Director of prison camp where Ikhtior Khamroev is held

Sobir MINGBAEV

KIN UYa 64/78, p Chimkurgan, Zafarzhan district, Dzhizzakh region,

UZBEKISTAN

[Salutation: Dear Director]

Head of the Dzhizzakh Regional Department of Internal Affairs

Zhaloliddin AKBAEV

ul. Narimanova 30, 708000 g. Dzhizzakh. Dzhizzakh region,

UZBEKISTAN

Fax: 00998 72 226 03 02;

[Salutation: Dear Zhaloliddin Akbaev]

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after

16 January 2008.

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