A letter to Mademoiselle Zhivago

·         21 octobre

21/10/2013 17:09

StudentMK Uzb
Дорогая Лара Фабиан,
Вы приезжаете в Ташкент. Я так мечтаю попасть на Ваш концерт, но не смогу по двум причинам...

Dear Lara Fabian

I heard that you are coming to Tashkent. I dream of being able to make it to your concert, but I cannot for two reasons: First, I am a student, studying in my first year of the University. Like many of your fans, I am now working in the cotton fields. Every day I have to collect 70 kg of cotton. Per 1 kg of cotton we should be paid the sum of 117 Soums (local currency) [$0.06 U.S. dollars], but we do not get this money directly paid to us. For each day of food that we are given, we have to pay 3,200 Soums [USD $1.50]. At the end of the harvest campaign, we will end up owing money to the state for the expenses of transportation, food and accommodations to have us work in the cotton fields. Food products that are supplied to us are mostly long past the use-by date. I tried to take a picture of the food that we are given, but our teachers told me off severely for that, and now they are threatening me with expulsion from the university. The second reason why I will never be able to buy a ticket to your concert is that I will not have enough money for it. The number of unemployed people in the country is catastrophic. Take for example the city I live in, the only solvent business in town is the cooking oil extraction plant. The other plants and factories closed down, because there is no conversion of the Uzbek national currency and business are not able to buy the necessary raw materials for the production of their products. 

I enjoyed watching your last concert of «Mademoiselle Zhivago" on cable television. I loved it. I wish you every success.

I asked the human rights activists to pass on my letter to you. They know my real name. But, unfortunately, I cannot sign my letter under my real name, because if I do so, I will definitely be dismissed from the University and may even go to jail, like my neighbor, who was reading the web sites of the political opposition on the Internet. There are thousands of political prisoners in Uzbekistan. I thought that you might want to know who your real fans are and why they cannot come to your concert, that is why I decided to write you this letter.

I hope that you are not only a very good singer, but also a very good person too. When you are in Uzbekistan, please ask Ms. Gulnara Karimova and her father President Karimov to end the use of forced labour in the cotton fields.

Your fan,



Bouquet for Lara Fabian

Belgian singer Lara Fabian is to visit Uzbekistan. She agreed to participate in the Fair "Style.Uz", in Tashkent which will be held under the patronage of Gulnara Karimova on 27 October 2013.


Uzbekistan: up to 4 hours in the queue to use toilet – is it not torture?


An excerpt from a letter from a prisoner 
at the prison colony UYA (УЯ) 64/1
Association for Human Rights in Central Asia has received a letter signed by prisoner detained in colony 64/1 in Chirchiq. It states: in this prison colony, there are only 20 toilets for thousands of prisoners (note from our organisation: about 4 thousand people). The prisoners have to stand in line for up to four hours to get to the toilet. Many people suffer from diseases of the genitourinary system, including urinary incontinence. The elderly and very young alike are embarrassed by the natural need and the smell of urine. The deputy head of the colony 64/1, Tulkin Tukhtasinov, not only simply ignores the treatment of prisoners, he also uses the lack of toilets in the "disciplinary purposes". He is especially mistreats political and religious. Prisoners. This is a very evil and cruel man.

The name of the author of the letter is known to us, it is withheld on his request. 


Uzbekistan: Political prisoner Murad Djuraev is forced to backbreaking labour

The ailing 61years old political prisoner Murad Djuraev is forced to work in the production of bricks. This exercise resulted in the deterioration of his health - he often faints from high blood pressure.

On 7 October 2013, Murad Djuraev’s wife Holbika Djuraeva, returned from an extended prison visitation of her husband. "I suffer and feel helpless that I cannot save my husband from this endless challenge" - she says.

Murad Djuraev, 1994  
Murad Djuraev was born in 1952 in the town of Mubarak of Kashkadarya region. He is ethnic Turkmen, married and has three children. He graduated from the Tashkent Polytechnic Institute. Between 1989 and 1992 he worked as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the City Council of the town of Mubarek. Between 1991-1992 he was a member of Parliament of Uzbekistan.

He was accused of conspiring with the leader of the opposition political party "Erk" Muhammad Salih. According to the authorities, they wanted to organise a violent seizure of power.

Murad Djuraev has been in prison since 18 September 1994. He was sentenced to imprisonment for five consecutive times. The first sentence was 12 year, but it was reduced to 9 years under an amnesty. After that not a single amnesty was applied to his case. The following three terms under Article 221 of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan (Disobedience to Legitimate Orders of Administration of Institution of Execution of Penalty) in total added up to another 9 years. On 4 December 2012 Murad Djuraev was sentenced to three years and 24 days of imprisonment, again, under Article 221 of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan. His family recons that there is no ground to hope that Djuraev will be released.

Murad Djuraev still rejects any suggestions to apply for a pardon to Islam Karimov.
*   *   *
According to Holbika Djuraeva, his physical condition is very poor. Murad Dzhuraev often faints as a result of high blood pressure. Purulent discharge from his nose and throat began to intensify. After the meal he suffers pain in his stomach, doctors explained that this was caused by lack of teeth. Recently, the organisation "Freedom Now" provided financial support for Murad Djurayev to get dentures. The prison administration has given permission to visit a dental technician.

Previous publications:
   - Press release «Uzbekistan: A Happy Birthday to Murad Djuraev! We wish you good health and freedom» of 5 September 2013;
    - Press release «It is not possible to find out the location of political prisoner Murad Juraev for the last four months» of 17 September 2009.


Latvia – the first country in the European Union to invite dictator Karimov since the Andijan tragedy

On 16-17 October 2013 the dictator of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, will visit free Latvia on an official visit.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia expects that Latvia will uphold, in its foreign policy, the principles of democracy and humanity that it declared.

According to information given by the Information Agency «UzReport», Heads of the States will meet "to exchange views on the gradual development of Uzbek-Latvian relations and international issues." The negotiations will be concluded by signing a joint statement and the package of documents to further strengthen bilateral political, trade and economic cooperation and relations in the field of transport, communications, environmental protection.

Who the Latvian President, Andris Berzins, will exchange views and discuss bilateral relations with?

First of all we would like to remind that Mr Islam Karimov is in power for more than 23 years since April 24, 1990. In 2007, in violation of the Article 90 of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, which states that "one and the same person cannot be President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for more than two consecutive terms", he remained for a third presidential term. You can read more on the subject in our press release of 20 January 2008 entitled "Theanti-constitutional Presidency оf Islam Karimov has begun".

            — On 13 May 2005 in the city of Andijan, on the orders of Islam Karimov, the government forces used indiscriminate and disproportionate force to suppress demonstrations, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including women and children. Up to this day, the regime keeps innocent people behind bars just because they have witnessed the Andijan massacre and protest against humanrights violations;
            — According to our sources, there are more than 10,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan. This number includes 30 human rights activists, writers, independent journalists, opposition party members, thousands of members of religious communities and organisations. They are deprived of liberty for the fact that their views differ from the officialposition;
            — the convicted prisoners are systematically tortured and sexually abused in order to obtain false testimonies or to break their personality. Statistics on victims of torture and deaths in custody is blocked in every possible way. According to only our organisation, over the past 4 years, 28 people died under torture in custody. An investigation of any of these cases proved impossible;
            — Information about the mass exploitation in the cotton sector of Uzbekistan has caused a great public outcry. Many companies, which have well-known brands, supported the call from human rights activists to boycott Uzbek cotton. Civil society activists have documented many cases of deaths and injuries during the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, there are children among the victims. No one has been held accountable for the deaths and causing irreparable damage to the health of the victims of slave labour;
            — opposition parties are denied the right to register and freedom to campaign;
            — there is no freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the country.

The list of the crimes against humanity committed by the regime goes on. All of the violations of human rights are also reflected in the reports of international observers and international human rights organisations.

Latvia is a member of the European Union and its representatives take part in the assessment, of Uzbekistan’s performance of its obligations under international agreements in the field of human rights, carried out by the UN Human Rights Council and the Council of Ministers of the European Union.

In 2012, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union. We hope that Latvia cares about its reputation and will follow the EU mission – to play a "key role in the transformation of the continent of Europe from the continent of world wars into a continent of peace", into a continent where there is no place for dictators who are leading repressive policies against their own people.


Kirgizstan-Uzbekistan: the missing refugee Shukhrat Musin is in the Andijan prison

On 8 October 2013 it became known that an Uzbek citizen, Shukhrat Musin, who went missing from Bishkek is alive and is held in the Andijan prison for about 8 months.

Shukhrat Musin’s family learned his whereabouts from Gafurjon Tashkhodjaev. He introduce himself as a stated appointed lawyer to Sh. Musin, a member of the Andijan Bar Association. He said that Musin urgently needs warm clothes and that his family can meet with him.

On 18 February 2013, someone called on Shukhrat Musin’s mobile and he went out, saying that he will be back soon. His two underage children and his colleague were in the house he rented in the Alamedin residential area of the Sverdlovsk district of Bishkek. His wife, at this time, was on her way from Jalal-Abad to Bishkek. He did not return. His disappearance was preceded by numerous threats, a detention and arrest for several months. Articles, signed by not real names, containing allegations against him appeared on the Internet. A certificate of the High Commissioner for Refugees, issued to him in January 2010, was made public, without Musin’s consent. In 2009 Shukhrat Musin was recognized as a refugee under the UN mandate. He was living in Kyrgyzstan while awaiting resettlement in a third country. By that time, Uzbekistan declared him wanted . Shukhrat Mussin’s parents were relocated to the United States by the UNHCR.

Shukhrat Musin
Shukhrat Sharipovich Musin was born on 30 September 1984 in the town of Jalal-Abad in Southern Kyrgyzstan. He grew up in the town of Khanabad of the Andijan region of Uzbekistan.

In 2007, after he and his friends watched the video of the events in Andijan in May 2005, he attracted the attention of the Uzbek National Security Service (SNB). In April 2008, several of them were arrested, accused of involvement in the so-called Wahhabism and sentenced to imprisonment. The house where the Musins lived was searched several times, during which religious literature was planted. Later, it turned out that the planted literature was banned, under the law of censorship, by the State Committee for Communication, Informatisation and Telecommunication Technologies of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The UNHCR office learned of Shukhrat Musin’s disappearance by noon of 19 February 2013.  On the same day, his wife applied for legal aid in the Public Foundation “Adilet Legal Clinic”, and since then Musin has a lawyer in Kyrgyzstan. However, he was unable to find out Musin’s whereabouts.

Under a Power of Attorney given by his father, Sharip Musin, who lives in the US, his friends retained a lawyer in Uzbekistan since 4 March 2013.

The Association "Human Rights in Central Asia" is in possession of the replies of Uzbek government departments, including the Andijan City Prosecutor’s Office, the city of Andijan Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Andijan Region Department of Entry-Exit and Registration of Citizenship. They all said that according to the information they have, Shukhrat Musin was not in Uzbekistan.

It is clear that the law enforcement agencies of Uzbekistan deliberately concealed information about the whereabouts of Shukhrat Musin and Uzbek National Security Service did not respond to two requests for information by his lawyer.

We shall find out soon if Shukhrat Musin’s lawyer, hired on request of his father, will have access to his client.

You can read our previous publication about Shukhrat Musin’s disappearance here:


Uzbekistan: a letter from the prison colony 64/47 at the town of Kiziltepa

A few days ago we received a letter from a prisoner, whose name is known to our organisation. He first wrote to us some time ago, while he had his freedom and the determination to fight tyranny. He loves poetry and historical films. Now he is under a threat of death.

Taking a huge risk, he managed to let us know who commits torture and how they bring the prisoners to death at the prison colony УЯ (UYA) 64/47. Evidently, the author did not rule out that the letter could be intercepted by the authorities. That is why he wrote it mostly in the first person, and signed on behalf of all the prisoners, making it clear that there are many victims of tyranny.

The author of the letter asked his family to circulate his letter to get the support of the public and to remind us all of the dire conditions of the prisoners.

No matter how much the authorities intimidate the prisoners, they still find a way to tell us about who tortured and where. The urge to let the truth to be known is stronger than fear.

*  *  *
Dear readers and dear leaders of my beloved motherland - Uzbekistan! I appeal to you, wanting to open in front of you all the pain and sorrow of my soul, for I, too, am the son of this country. Currently, our Great Yurtbashi (Leader of the country) is carrying out a variety of reforms and measures aimed to benefit the future generation. These reforms are allocated large amounts of funds. All of this is done for the sake of the future of our children and our people. And these reforms show that the people of Uzbekistan are, on par with all the peoples of the world, boldly and resolutely, striding forward to a brighter future. However, I was surprised that authorities at the prison colony No. 64/47 are engaged in gluttonous and greedy behaviour which defeats these useful beginnings and progress. They act exactly the way the characters in the book entitled “Shaytanat” (The Kingdom of Demons) of the writer Tahir Malik, as if all institutions of this kind in the country are leased to or turned into private property of their superintendents.

In the establishment No. 64/47, a group of criminals in uniform of the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, under the leadership of Captain Habib Atoyev, systematically commit foul crimes. In order to nip the criminal activities, such as bribery, extortion and other, at the root, the Government the Prosecutors promptly identify the perpetrators and determined their sentences. But when the convicted are brought into our facility, they are met with insults, moral and physical bullying. Their torture in various ways begins immediately.

As I mentioned above, captain Habib Atoyev and his henchmen: Captain Inoyat Urimov, Captain (or Major) Maruf (we do not know his last name), Lieutenant Tolib Utov, Captain Ahmad Shukurov, Captain Hayat (we do not know his last name), Captain Shukhrat Gadoev and others are responsible for it all. This list of names is not exhaustive by all means.

Under the protection of the institution, they all, quietly and relentlessly, continue the criminal arbitrary treatment of the prisoners. They extort or simply take away money from the prisoners who are brought in, in stages. For the sake of obtaining money or information they can put a prisoner in a solitary confinement, hung him upside down and beat on the soles with a rubber truncheon, use some other method of torture or simply kill the prisoner.

All of their illegal actions go unpunished. Even if someone comes to monitor the functioning of the prison, the people who came to check on the prisoners end up blaming the victim.

If an ordinary citizen committed such crimes during the course of his daily life, he would have received a punishment under the Article 164 [Assault with Intent to Rob], 240 [Evasion of Participants of Criminal Proceedings from Performing Obligations], 168 [Fraud], etc. and would be deprived of liberty for many years. However, these sort of crimes take place in this institution systematically. And no one is held to account for them. They feel they are unpunishable. Only the “kings of the underworld” are free of such punishments.

May be, this is the case because they have a lot of money. Money extorted from the prisoners is enough to bribe many. If they were afraid of being held to account for their actions, they would not behave so impudently. No one dares to oppose them. And if someone does dare to object to them, they swear, saying, “F*** you...". They have no respect whatsoever for neither the Constitution nor the decrees of our President, nor the requirements of the security departments, nor the laws, because the institution No. 64/47 has its own laws, which are called “laws of the jungle”. These “laws” justify any of their crimes.

These, so called, “laws” are implemented by the “king” of the institution - a criminal Captain Habib Atoyev and his henchmen: Prisoners Umid Umarov and Muzaffar Rasulov, who murder prisoners on his orders.

They, together with informant-prisoners, wrote a book called “The Voice of the Oppressed” and become “heroes”.

Our government believed them and gave awards, promoted them in rank.
This is the end of my appeal to you.

Prisoners of the Prison Colony No. 64/47.