Kyrgyzstan: a “MURDERER” found before the victim

The story of criminal case number 41-10-305

Under torture, a resident of Osh was forced to admit to committing a murder. The procurator has filed charges even though the investigation of this criminal case did not identify the victim nor the even the very fact that a murder was committed.

In November 2010 Osh City Criminal Court started reviewing the case, in which Murodbek Khamraboev Avazovich (born in 1982) is accused of murder. Under the Kyrgyz Criminal Code, his charges - murder (article 97), kidnapping (article 123), causing public  disorder (article 233) - carry a sentence to life imprisonment.

On August 3, 2010, Murodbek was having lunch in a cafeteria with his friends, when he was taken away by criminal investigators without any explanation. He was taken to the police building and accused of murdering Palvan Orozaliev Samievich. This was the first time Murodbek has ever heard of this person’s name. He was told that being Uzbeki, he was feeling hatred towards Kyrgyz Palvan Orozaliev, and murdered him as a result. Murodbek did not have a chance to protest these accusations.

According to Mr. Khamraboev, one of the investigators led him into a prison cell, with a group of strong young men already awaiting him there. An identification test was conducted in the cell, with no-one being able to identify Mr. Khambaroev. Later Mansour Toshmatov (born in 1987) was brought into the cell, and was told that he was supposed to give evidence in support of Khambaroev’s murder of Orozaliev. Toshmatov refused to give false evidence at first. Then he was severely beaten up by the present young men, in front of the observing policemen. He then started signing everything in front of him. Atazhonov Rustam Rasulovich was also forced into giving false evidence against Khambaroev. Neither Atazhonov, nor Toshmatov had ever seen Khambaroev before.

During the preliminary and the main judicial investigation the ‘key witnesses’ of the murder, Toshmatov and Atazhonov, were unable to recount under what circumstances Khamraboev has fatally attacked Orozaliev.

On the victim’s side, relatives of Orozaliev, who have been participating in the court hearings, have also been unaware of the circumstances surrounding his death. The accusation didn’t include proof of the murder. Moreover, the materials of this case don’t include a medical document about the cause of death, nor an autopsy report, nor any other proof indicating physical harm being done to Orozaliev. In the meantime, Toshmatov and Atazhonov admitted to being fake witnesses against Khambaroev. Therefore, as it stands now, this criminal case is lacking any objective evidence against Khambaroev, but the court is still going ahead with this case.

We are just left wondering how the employees of the office public persecutor, who are trained in law and are supposed to watch over the implementation of legislation in Kyrgyzstan, have ignored the fact that no victim has been found in this case. And the actions of the court are demonstrating its full dependence on local authorities.

We are observing a fascinating case: If a murder was committed, there must be a corpse, but the corpse has not been found. Thus, Murodbek Khamraboev is accused of a crime for which there is no evidence that it has even happened.

International observers located in South Kyrgyzstan are constantly monitoring the respect of human rights there. Despite this, it is obvious that arbitrary decisions such as this one still persist. Individuals leading these lawless actions are those in position of power, who are supposed to protect the interests of citizens, regardless of national or ethnic identity.


Uzbekistan: Incarceration of the 63-year old Yuri Korepanov leads to his heart attack

A Russian citizen, 63-year old Yuri Korepanov, sentenced for 16 years in Uzbekistan, has suffered a heart attack in December, 2010. Uzbeki diplomats and investigative authorities (sledstvennie organi), have been silent on this. Korepanov has already been sent labor camp to serve his sentence.
On January 11, 2011, the Military Court of Uzbekistan found Korepanov guilty as a citizen of Uzbekistan. He was given a 16 year prison sentence, based on the following Articles of the Code of Criminal Procude of Uzbekistan: one year under the Article 223 for illegally crossing borders, and 15 years under the Article 157 for betraying the motherland for the Russian Federation. The fact that he has been a Russian citizen since 2004 has been completely ignored. Please see the details on his case in the AHRCA Press Release of February 23, 2011: “The Absurd Verdict: Uzbekistan Has Accused Yuri Korepanov, the Russian Citizen, for ‘Betraying his Motherland.’”

We have just been made aware that between 1st and 5th of December, Yuri Korepanov, a Russian citizen, was placed in the prison hospital) after suffering a heart attack. Members of Korepanov’s family were only informed of this over a month later.

On February 25, 2011, we found out that in the middle of February Korepanov was transferred to the town of Karshi, in a labor camp U/IA 64/49 to serve his 16-year prison sentence.

Uzbeki legislation does contain articles that allow for freeing a prisoner on account of serious medical condition, regardless of the length of the prison sentence (for instance, article 75 of the Uzbekinstan’s criminal code and article 165 of the Uzbekistan’s executive criminal code. However, these laws are seldom applied in practice.

§  According to Clause 1 of the Article 10 of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, all individuals deprived of liberty must be treated with humanity and respect.

§  Clause 2, Article 22 of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners states:
“Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals. Where hospital facilities are provided in an institution, their equipment, furnishings and pharmaceutical supplies shall be proper for the medical care and treatment of sick prisoners, and there shall be suitably trained personnel or officers.”

§  Article 44 of the Rules provides:
1. “<…> serious illness of, <…>, the director shall at once inform the spouse, if the prisoner is married, or the nearest relative and shall in any event inform any other person previously designated by the prisoner.”
3. “Every prisoner shall have the right to inform at once his family of his imprisonment or his transfer to another institution.”

The Association of “Human Rights in Central Asia” is deeply concerned with health conditions of Yuri Korepanov and the infringement of his right to access medical help.