Kyrgyzstan: increase in attacks on ethnic Uzbeks

The Osh office of the members of the ‘International independent commission for the investigation of the June events in the sourth of Kyrgyzstan’ closed on December 9 2010. The commission also responded to the claims of people who suffered in the next half year. Immediately after the commission left attacks and other illegal actions against ethnic Uzbeks increased, with members of the security services and civilians taking part. Below are some of the testimonies we have received from victims.   

Muzaffar Rahmatullaevich wrote to us on December 1 2010. His date of birth is January 13, 1976. He is a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, and lives in the city of Osh.

December 1 2010, on Gagarin Street, our car was overtaken and stopped by ethnic Kyrgyz whom we had never met before. They said they were staff members of the criminal investigation department of the Osh City GUVD (Main Department of the Interior Ministry). They illegally arrested myself and three of my friends and took us to the GUVD of the city of Osh, where we placed in the isolation ward. There members of the special forces unit placed us in a ‘G’ position (our heads against the wall) and beat us. They beat us on our torsos and legs so as to not leave marks. They constantly threatened that if we told anyone they would find and kill us. Apart from us there were another 15 people there. They wanted to accuse us of crimes we did not commit. They were not able to extract any statements from us and moved us to the GSNB (State Service of National Security) of the city of Osh.
Again we were beaten for no reason. I was heavily beaten. They threatened to put me on an electric chair and proceeded to do this. Then they poured water over my head. They said they would beat all the Uzbeks in turn and then charge them with various crimes. I was released at 0030. I could not take the steering wheel due to pain in my chest. I took a taxi home and left my car by the GUVD. The next day my friends went to get the car, and had to pay 20 000 Som (500 USD), to get it back. As far as I know,  the names of some of the members of the GUVD and GSNB of Osh are: Urmat, Omurbek, Marat and Asilbek. Next I went to the doctor to complain of pains in my breast cage. He sent me for an x-ray. It was discovered I had two cracked ribs. They also recorded several bumps and bruises. 

On the photo is part of a leg where we see torture marks. The victim had molten nails pressed to his body to force them to give false evidence. To safeguard the victim we do not reveal their name and only show part of the photo.

According to a witness, 5 people were arrested on December 11 2010 by aggressively inclined members of the police and people in civilian clothes.
On December 11 2010, at around 0930, in the suburb of Amir Temur, members of the traffic police of the city of Osh stopped a Mercedes Benz Universal driven by its owner Egamberdi Pazilov. The traffic police immediately began to search the automobile. They then falsely accused him of having a riflescope form a sniper rifle.

A short while later, at around 12:30-1300 they conducted a search at his home. They found nothing illegal at Agamberdi Pazilov’s home and arrested his nephew, Yusufbek Pazilov, for no reason. They accused him of being involved in a crime, but did not say what this crime was. His parents came to the police station, they were also told that he was a criminal without explaining anything.  

When members from the Department of the Interior Ministry were passing through the suburb of Amir Temur on their way back to their station, they arrested the completely innocent  Abdullo (surname unknown). His location is still not known. This arrest was made by traffic police and civilians in a ‘Daewoo-Nexia’ taxi. 

Abidjan Ahundjanov (DoB: March 8, 1934, born in the village of Shark, Karasujsk Area of the city of Osh) wrote to us on December 13 2010. He is a carpenter who has worked in Kyrgyzstan for forty years. He has raised six children, all of them educated people. 

On December 9, 2010, Abidjan Ahundjanov got on bus number 2 at the ‘State University’ stop, heading towards the south-east. He was hurrying home to make it to mosque for afternoon prayers. There were around fifty people on the bus. He was minding his own business and not paying attention to the other people on the bus. As soon as the bus got going he noticed some aggressively inclined persons had taken notice of him. Several people said to him: ‘What are you doing here, go home to your Uzbekistan!’

Ahundjanov answered that he had grown up here and was in his homeland. One young man started to beat him with all his might. He was beaten all over his body, especially on his head and face. Others simply observed  the beating. In answer to the question why he hadn’t appealed for help straight away Ahundjanov answered: ‘I felt helpless in the face of this injustice. After having given so many years to this country, to this city, I was suddenly a stranger…’
Specialists examined Ahundjanov at the city hospital and discovered he had concussion and marks from a beating. The OSCE, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights in Central Asia (France), Kalim Shami (Kyrgyzstan) were informed of this attack. 
Barno Raimdjanova appealed to us on 14 December 2010. Her date of birth is September 21, 1968. She is a citizen of Kyrgyzstan and lives in the Karasujsk area, Shark village council. She is a teacher, and works in the L. Tolstoy middle school.
 In her testimony she writes:

’12 December 2010 I went outside and saw two 16 year old Uzbek lads, my pupils, held up by a gang of Kyrgyz. I had to get involved when I heard them calling for help. I asked what was going on and was told to mind my own business. Then this group took me hostage until my pupils would bring their passports. My pupils left and I was called names I am ashamed to even mention. I was called a ‘sart’ (In Kyrgyzstan this word is used to humiliate Uzbeks, it means ‘settler’-ed.), and was told that us Uzbeks should die and we had no place in Kyrgyzstan. Then I was hit all over my body. I lost consciousness. I came to in the Osh Regional Hospital.’

Mahlie Umurzakova (DoB September 14, 1994) also wrote to us on December 14 2010. She is a citizen of Kyrgyzstan.

She wrote:

December 13, 2010, I went to the market to go  shopping. There two Kyrgyz girls caught hold of me and placed a knife against my body. They threatened to kill me. They cursed me and said that there is no place for Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan. I lost consciousness from their blows. They robbed me of 500 Som and left me by the bank of the river Uvam. My mother found me two hours later.’

On December 15 2010 alone our organization received 12 phone calls from victims in the south of Kyrgyzstan and their relatives. They related that anyone who looks Uzbek is stopped by the security services and arrested for any reason. Some are ‘found’ to have bullets on them. Others have something wrong with their documents, then they have to pay a bribe to be released. Often the reason for an attack is that an Uzbek has received help from an international body: a television, warm clothes, carpets, temporary accommodation. 

When victims are beaten they are humiliated for receiving these things. They are told that Uzbeks should be liquidated so they don’t receive humanitarian help from abroad. During all the acts of repression and attacks Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan are told by the Osh city authorities they have been disowned by Islam Karimov, that OSCE police will not enter the country, and that they can do whatever they want with the Uzbeks. Arrested Uzbeks hear this sort of thing even in the GUVD (Interior Ministry) offices. The security services always insult the Uzbeks by their nationality. Civilians attack Uzbeks right in front of bureaucrats and with the help of police. Both civilians and authorities conceal their names, often simply saying ‘Me: I’m your death’.  

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia has sent this information to the general prosecutor’s office in Kyrgyzstan, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the OSCE and international human rights organizations. 

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia

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