Kyrgyzstan

Failure to Honour International Commitments as Askarov Sentence Upheld

Askarov behind bars

Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Kyrgyz authorities to fulfil their international commitments to protect civil and political rights by immediately releasing human rights defender and journalist Azimjon Askarov. Today, the Chui Regional Court ruled to uphold the original sentence of life-imprisonment at the end of a trial that allegedly presented the same procedural faults that led to the Human Rights Committee stating that several of Askarov rights had been violated.

Kyrgyzstan Must Free Human Rights Defender Azimjon Askarov

Askarov still languishes behind bars despite promises to have him released. Photo courtesy of  Ayzhamal Istanbekova, from Golos Svobody News portal.

Four years ago, during two media appearances in Berlin and Bishkek, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev publicly announced that he had no interest in keeping an innocent man in jail. The man Atambayev spoke about– first during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and then with Kyrgyz media– is Azimjon Askarov, a human rights defender and a journalist who was imprisoned for life in September 2010.