Uzbekistan Really should Absolutely free Imprisoned Attorney

“Onward, Karakalpaks!,” shouted blogger and law firm Daulet Tazhimuratov from his glass cage in the Tashkent courtroom on June 5, minutes right after his enchantment demo concluded and a choose still left his 16-yr jail sentence intact.

Fourteen other defendants standing demo with Tazhimuratov for alleged crimes in relationship with July 2022 protests in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan’s autonomous location, experienced their sentences both diminished or transformed to noncustodial “restricted freedom” phrases. 8 of the defendants were being unveiled from the courtroom.

Karakalpakstan’s constitution states that Karakalpakstan is “a sovereign democratic republic” with the suitable to “secede from the Republic of Uzbekistan on the foundation of a nation-vast referendum held by the men and women of Karakalpakstan.” Tazhimuratov’s posture from constitutional amendments proposed in 2022 that would have stripped Karakalpaks of this appropriate had been not separatist, as the point out argued, but constitutionally protected, his law firm, Sergey Mayorov, described to the court all through the hearing. There is video evidence that Tazhimuratov termed for peaceful protests, not instigated an rebellion.

Human Rights Enjoy has not seen any comments by Tazhimuratov in the guide up to the Karakalpakstan functions that would represent speech that could justifiably be criminalized beneath international human legal rights legislation. Expressing a political belief and contacting for peaceful protests is safeguarded speech.

The variation amongst the court’s managing of the other defendants, all of whom expressed regret for their alleged actions, and Tazhimuratov, who managed his innocence and mounted an active defense in court docket, was stark.

Tazhimuratov did not get a honest trial. His responsible verdict hinged on court-ordered “expert” conclusions and witness testimony, which his law firm, Sergey Mayorov, efficiently challenged through his attraction. Mayorov thorough in courtroom how the point out-purchased “expert” analyses were carried out in violation of Uzbek law and observed that professionals who do not know Karakalpak language executed linguistic and psychological analyses of Tazhimuratov’s speech. Authorities also unsuccessful to correctly look into Tazhimuratov’s promises of torture though in custody.

Right after the hearing, Mayorov described the court’s decision to uphold his client’s 16-calendar year jail sentence as “an definitely unfair, illegal sentence.”

In early July, Uzbekistan will go to the polls in snap presidential elections. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the incumbent who faces no true challengers, has positioned himself as a reformer who will usher in a “new” Uzbekistan, in which citizen’s legal rights are revered and upheld.

Tazhimurodov is owing no considerably less. His rights should really be respected and upheld. He really should be freed.