24.12.14

Uzbekistan: a trial of «traitors of the Motherland» took place



On 24 December 2014, in Uzbekistan, a sentence was issued on the case of the citizens previously deported from Norway. 

On 11 December 2014, just before the trial, in violation of the principle of presumption of innocence, a propaganda film entitled «Xiyona», "Betrayal" in translation from Uzbek, was broadcast in Uzbekistan on the TV channel "Uzbekistan". In the film, the deportees were presented as "false witnesses", "traitors to the Motherland" and "religious extremists".

The Tashkent Region Criminal Court charged 9 individuals. 6 young men were sentenced to 12-13 years of imprisonment. They were accused of being a member of so called “Islamic movement of Turkistan” which is declared to be a terrorist organisation. They were sentenced under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 “Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan”, 244-1 “Production and Dissemination of Materials Containing Threat to Public Security and Public Order”, 244-2 “Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations”, and 246 “Smuggling”. Below are personal details of each of them. Three other were accused under Article 241 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan “Failure to Report about Crime or Concealment Thereof”, Timur Tulkunovich Zaitov, Ikramkhoja Bakhramovich Agzamov, Akmal Akhmadalievich Zakirov. The Court issued a pardon in relation to them. 

All of the accused, between 2008 and 2014, came to Norway looking for work. They could not find jobs in Uzbekistan for various reasons. They used the procedure of asylum to legalise there stay in Norway. Persons who are seeking asylum have the right to work. Norway considered their asylum applications, but did not find a confirmation of them facing politically motivated prosecution back in Uzbekistan. This is a requirement under the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees. In the spring of 2014, Norway deported these individuals to their country of origin. Three months after returning home, they were detained for 15 days for violation of administrative rules.

During the first six days of the period of investigation in the detention centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, all six people were tortured. They were struck with a rubber truncheon on the soles of their feet, head and torso, electric shocks were applied and they were starved for up to six days. Their bodies still show swelling, one of them has a torn tongue. During the investigation they had lawyers provided by the state, and the lawyer know that their clients were tortured. But none of the lawyers made an application for a forensic examination to be conducted. At the trial, the defendants and their defence said about the use of torture, but the Court ignored all the submissions.

All six defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The allegation of the involvement of the accused in the banned organisation was built on the testimony of intimidated witnesses. It was stated that one of the defendants watched online videos of religious organisation at in the communal area of their residence, because they all lived in the same shared apartment in Norway. This accusation looks strange also because not all of them know how to use a computer and the Internet. For example, this applies to Shukhrat Ilhamov. Witnesses for the prosecution did not readily recognize the defendants, who allegedly communicated with them in Norway. The Court’s evaluation of the actions committed in another country is not valid; there were no charges against them put forward by Norway. 

Below is the information about the imprisoned citizens of Uzbekistan who were deported from Norway.

1. Asadulla Xayrullayevich RIXSIYEV, born in 1986 in Tashkent. In 2007 he graduated from the Information Technology University. He was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 (Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan), 244-2 (Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations). In the Trial, he said that he was tortured during the investigation stage of the case.

2. Zafar Salim ogli KARIMOV , born in 1985 in Tashkent. Educated to higher education level. He was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 (Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan), 244-2 (Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations). In the Trial, he said that he was tortured during the investigation stage of the case.

3. Davron Axrolovich RAHMONOV, born in 1984 in Tashkent. He was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 (Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan), 244-2 (Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations). In the Trial, he said that he was tortured during the investigation stage of the case.

4. Ahmadjon Muhammadjonovich Creator , born in 1980 in Tashkent. He was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 (Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan), 244-2 (Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations). In the Trial, he said that he was tortured during the investigation stage of the case.

5. Shuhrat Qodirovich ILHOMOV, born in 1977 in Tashkent. He is married and has two children. He has a secondary education. He was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 (Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan), 244-2 (Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations). In the Trial, he said that he was tortured during the investigation stage of the case.

6. Jahongir Qochqorovich TOJIEV, born in 1984 in Tashkent. He is married and has two children. 
He was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan: 159 (Attempts to Constitutional Order of Republic of Uzbekistan), 244-2 (Establishment, Direction of or Participation in Religious Extremist, Separatist, Fundamentalist or Other Banned Organizations). In the Trial, he said that he was tortured during the investigation stage of the case.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia — AHRCA:

          — calls on Norway to establish a commission and send it to Uzbekistan in order to examine the consequences of the deportation of citizens of Uzbekistan, including the convicted;


          — calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, within its mandate, to show interest in the fate of victims of torture;


          — calls on the Representative of European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan, to show active participation in the protection against torture in the present criminal case and to monitor the entire appeal proceedings, following the principle of objectivity and fairness, within the framework of the EU strategy in relation to Uzbekistan and in defence of the values of the European Union.