Will the Leader of the Coalition “Sunshine Uzbekistan,” Sanjar Umarov, be Granted Amnesty?

Sanjar Umarov spent 420 days in the solitary confinement out of 2 years held in custody. His family was informed of this only three months ago, since until now it has been impossible to meet with him.  He has not been allowed to communicate, either in writing or by telephone, with his friends and family.  His complaints regarding his health have been ignored by the authorities.  Attempts by his lawyer to see him have been fruitless.  Sanjar Umarov’s family is extremely worried about his health.

Sanjar Umarov
Sanjar UMAROV – Born in 1956, in Tashkent, has a wife, three sons, and two daughters.  Leader of the coalition “Sunshine Uzbekistan.”  Accused of economic crimes.  Sentenced to 14 years, six months, and prohibited from business activities five years after serving his sentence.  Imprisoned at penal colony KIN UYA 64-47 in the Navoi region.

In 2005 Sanjar Umarov began to unite various organizations into one coalition under the name “Sunshine Uzbekistan.”  He sought a dialogue with president Islam Karimov.  This announcement by the coalition alarmed the authorities.  This new organization differed from previous ones in that it proposed a new concept of reforms. Many highly qualified specialists from various spheres of society assisted in preparing the documentation for these reforms.

Shortly after the founding of the coalition, the tragedy in Andijan occurred.  Sanjar Umarov openly supported the independent international investigation of the events in Andijan, in which hundreds of citizens lost their lives, shot dead.  However, S. Umarov was against introducing sanctions against Uzbekistan proposed by the European Union, believing it would lead to further isolation of the regime.

In October, 2005, Sanjar Umarov was arrested.  The court case against him was absurd, and the verdict was harsh.

Sanjar Umarov’s situation demands immediate intervention by the Supreme Council of the United Nations on Human Rights, by the European Council, and by other international organizations.

There must be immediate provisions for:
• humanitarian treatment for the prisoner, Sanjar Umarov, and the cessation of psychological pressure being put upon him;
• access to him by a representative of the International Red Cross;
• access to Sanjar Umarov by his lawyer;
• telephone conversations with his family;
• a review of Sanjar Umarov’s case, based upon a recent directive of the Olij Mazhlis  of the Republic of Uzbekistan concerning amnesty in conjunction with the 15th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
A general amnesty was announced in Uzbekistan on November 30, 2007.  The European Union began a dialogue with the leaders of Uzbekistan concerning human rights, which raised the expectations of the general public.  Sanjar Umarov’s wife wrote a letter in strong support of his amnesty .

President I. Karimov, in an effort to further strengthen his authority, liquidated all elements of liberalism which arose during the era of M. Gorbachev.  In the name of “security and stability,” all of society’s institutions and values were liquidated by a dedicated effort of cleansing society from any sort of dissent.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia implores all interested parties, organizations, and the media to take measures regarding the fate of Sanjar Umarov by contacting Uzbekistan authorities at the addresses listed below.

  • Addresses:

                President of Uzbekistan, Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov, ul. Uzbekistanskaya 43, Rezidentsia prezidenta, 700163 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: +998 71 133 1395325, E-mail: presidents_office@press-service.uz; 

                Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Norov, Ministerstvo inostrannykh del RU, pl. Mustakillik 5; 700029 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: + 998 71 139 15 17, E-mail: rnews@mfa.uz;

                Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Sayora Rashidova, ul. Xalqlar Dostligi 1, 700035 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: +998 71 139 85 55, E-mail: office@ombudsman.gov.uz;

                Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ubaydulla Mingbaev, Verkhovny Sud Respubliki Uzbekistan, ul. Abdulla Kodiri 1, 700183 Tashkent; Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: + 998 71 144-62-93;

                General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Rashidjon Hamidovich Kodirov, ul. Gulyamova 66, 700047 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: +998 71 133 39 17, E-mail: prokuratura@lawyer.com;

Head of Prison UYA 64/47, Colonel M. Abdullaev, Kizil-Tepa, Navoii Region Uzbekistan, Index 210400
                National Centre for Human Rights, Senator Akmal Saidov Natsionalny, Tsentr po pravam cheloveka, Mustakillik Maidoni 5/3, 700029 Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan, Fax: + 998 71 139 13 56 / 45 16, E-mail: office@nchr.uz;

                Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United Nations in Geneva, PO Box 1853, 1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 799 43 02, E-mail: uzbekistan@bluewin.ch