Today, the ICJ observed a hearing in the case of Azimzhan Askarov, a prominent human rights defender in Kyrgyzstan, convicted in 2011 of murder and incitement to ethnic hatred, after an unfair trial, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Azimzhan Askarov is appealing against his conviction following a decision of the UN Human Rights Committee.
The Chuy Court began the appeal hearing in the case on 4 October, following the findings of the UN Human Rights Committee that Azimzhan Askarov’s arrest, detention and trial violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), including the prohibition on torture or other ill-treatment, the prohibition on arbitrary detention, and the right to fair trial.
As a result, the Supreme Court ordered a reconsideration of the case earlier this year.
At today’s hearing a witness who was Askarov’s former cellmate confessed that he beat Askarov up in detention, which is the first time that direct testimony about Askarov’s torture or other ill-treatment has been presented to the Court.
Previously such allegations were refuted by the prosecution.
The next hearing is scheduled for 18 October. The ICJ will continue monitoring the case in future hearings.
Róisín Pillay, e: roisin.pillay(a)icj.org
Dmitry Nurumov, e: dmitry.nurumov(a)icj.org
Azimzhan Askarov, a prominent human rights defender, was convicted of murder and incitement to ethnic hatred and sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2011.
The charges concerned allegations of his participation in a murder of Myktybek Sulayamanov, a police officer, during the 2010 ethnic clashes in the South of Kyrgyzstan.
The ICJ observed the appeal hearing in the case before the Supreme Court on 20 December 2011.
Based on the results of the mission as well as the documents of the case, the ICJ published a detailed report on the arrest, detention and trial of Azimzhan Askarov.
In March 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee issued a decision in regard to Askarov’s complaint and found violations of Articles 7 (freedom from torture), Article 9 (prohibition of arbitrary detention); Article 10 (right to humane treatment in detention), Article 14 (right to a fair trial) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
On 12 July 2016, the Supreme Court ordered a further reconsideration of the case on appeal.
The Chuy Regional Court is currently considering the case.
kyrgyzstan-askarov-trial-obs-news-web-story-2016-rus (full story in Russian, PDF)NewsWeb stories