Our Shavkat is in the Basement of the National Security Service!

This was the report I received from Norway and was shocked by this news. Since 15 April, a dear friend of mine has been behind bars.

Shavkatjon Hajihanov lived and worked legally in Norway for many years. He and I were originally from
Uzbekistan, but we met during my business trip to Oslo. And we have spent more than three years together working on human rights.

“Why did he go back?” I asked our mutual friend, and he replied: “Shavkatjon received news that his mother was near death!” It turned out that when attempts were made to talk him out of going back to Uzbekistan, he became irritated and explained that he must save his mother…

All together, Shavkatjon had lived outside of Uzbekistan for more than 18 years. He had left the country because the officers of the interior affairs agencies gave him no peace, as they did with many other residents of the Ferghana Valley. Many of them, from the day they become adults, are put in the registry at the internal affairs departments [the police] according to their place of residence permit and each one is called in for a “chat.” The reason  is most often the slander said by a neighbor or relative obtained by torture. It is impossible to defend oneself from this lawlessness. That is how many wind up behind bars, and the best means of avoiding these trials was emigration.

Shavkatjon Hajihanov left for South Korea, where he had the opportunity to get a job, and there made the acquaintance of Nemat Ahunov. Shavkatjon earned some money and then returned. And once again, the threat of arrest arose again; by that time, many of his fellow classmates and neighbors were imprisoned. Once again, he decided to leave the country. Together with Nemat, he headed for Norway, where he lived and worked legally. Both were happy that they had an opportunity to help their relatives.

Shavkatjon was a member of the Association of Human Rights in Central Asia. From the very beginning, he actively took part in public actions to abolish child and forced labor. He would provide financial assistance out of his own funds to those who suffered injuries during the cotton campaign. He took care of the relatives of people who were imprisoned on fabricated charges. And each time, when he made a financial contribution to our organization, he strongly urged us not to publicly mention his name, believing that to be inappropriate. He is characterized as honest, hard-working, and helpful.

Late in the evening of 11 April 2014, Shavkatjon Hajihanov flew from Norway. He arrived in Kyrgyzstan on 13 April. Fearing political persecution, he decided to get into Uzbekistan unnoticed. Early on the morning of 14 April, Shavkatjon crossed the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, avoiding the checkpoint, which is a violation of the rules for crossing state borders. He had a mobile phone and a change of clothing with him. He headed directly to the city of Margilan, where his mother, wife and children live. He reached home toward lunch-time, and of course, everyone was overjoyed with his appearance.

Then on the afternoon of 15 April, 15 armed men broke into the house, and another 15 people surrounded the whole house, involving all the neighbors and residents of the street in the operation. Shavkatjon Hajihanov was brought out of the house in hand-cuffs, shorts, and his slippers. He was not allowed even to get dressed or approach his mother. Before the eyes of his sick mother and frightened family and neighbors, the security service officers roughly push him out of the house with the butt of a rifle and shoved him into their car. At the same time, they detained his nephew, sister and brother. All of them were taken to the Ferghana Regional Directorate of the National Security Service of Uzbekistan.

By evening, all were released from custody except Shavkatjon Hajihanov. But the next day there was a face-to-face meeting arranged between Shavkatjon and his nephew who had met him at the border of Uzbekistan. According to his relatives, Shavkatjon stood in the office of the investigator in his shorts and slippers, shivering from the cold, and marks of beatings were visible on his body. Seeing Shavkatjon, his nephew fell to his knees before the guard and began to beg him to let him give his sneakers to his uncle. And when the guard gave his consent for this, he hugged Shavkatjon and hurriedly began to put on the shoes. Both of them were crying, and Shavkatjon kept asking him to report all this at the embassy, because it was impossible for him to survive this hell… Hearing this, the guard began to beat Shavkatjon with all his strengthen on his head and back, not leaving him the strength to remain on his feet, and then dragged him out of the building where they were located. After that, blows could still be heard for some time.

Then the news came that on the evening of 15 April, Nemat Ahunov, who had come back from Norway several months earlier, was brought to the basement of the SNB in Ferghana Valley.

Not long before his return to Uzbekistan, Ahunov  had quarreled with Hajihanov, and stolen a photo from his album where Shavkat was shown next to me in a picture. We had taken our picture together. There were also photographs with the human rights defender Mutabar Tajibayeva and Muhammad Salih who had received political asylum in Norway as leader of the Erk Democratic Party of Uzbekistan. It is not known what exactly Nemat did with those photos.

Hajihanov’s lawyer has reported that Shavkatjon has already been charged with several articles of the Criminal Code. His family remember only Art. 223 (illegal border-crossing or illegal entry into the Republic of Uzbekistan).

It is difficult for me to hide my personal relationship to Shavkatjon Hajihanov. Everyone who knows him will understand me. We both want our country to be developed and economically strong, so that human rights would be observed there.

For the sake of the security of his family and friends, Shavkatjon took part in the Association of Human Rights in Central Asia under conditions of confidentiality. And since the Uzbek authorities have learned about this, then I confirm that Shavkatjon was a human rights advocate who deserves the respect of the public.

Even a few days ago, I did not imagine that I would have to tell how Shavkatjon would be forced to perjure himself under torture, and state that he is acquainted with militants. And only because of the fact that he personally knows human rights activists and Muhammad Salih.

With respect for Shavkatjon Hajihanov,
Nadejda Atayeva


Uzbekistan: Human Rights Defender Hurram Berdiyev Declared Wanted

Human rights defender Hurram Berdiyev, who heads the Mazlum Human Rights Center chapter in Surhandarya Region, has lived abroad for several years. Uzbekistan has declared him wanted on suspicion of “complicity in trafficking of persons.”

On 6 March 2014, during a trial of two members of the Mazlum Human Rights Center – Fahriddin Tillayev (born 15.08.1971),) and Nuraddin Jumanniyazov (born 18.10.1948), charged under Art. 135 of the Uzbekistan Criminal Code (trafficking in persons) – the name of Hurram Berdiyev was mentioned. The victim – Farhad Pardayev (born 27.02.1969) and Erkin Erdanov (born 5.07.1959) gave testimony both during the investigation and in court that they had allegedly had their rights completely restricted while performing a job, including by harsh treatment and non-payment for work. According to their testimony, Hurram Berdiyev, with whom they lived for several days in Chimkent at the recommendation of Nuraddin Jumaniyazov, has some relationship to these unlawful actions. In fact, it was at the request of Hurram Berdiyev that Janar Demeuova, a citizen of Kazakhstan, looked for work for them. Demeuova’s testimony is attached to the criminal file, and she refutes these charges. The court pronounced the testimonies of Pardayev and Erdanov reliable. Soon afterward, Hurram Berdiyev was declared wanted.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia has established:

Hurram Berdiyev
Hurram BERDIYEV was born on 13 April 1961. A native of Kumkurgan District of the Surhandarya Region. He has a college education, and worked for many years as a middle school teacher in his district. Berdiyev was present at the creation of the Maslum Human Rights Center and coordinated the activity of the Surhandarya regional chapter. Since February 1991, he has been a member of the Erk Democratic Party. He has four sons.

The persecution of Hurram Berdiyev began when the authorities learned that he supported the demands of the European Union regarding the necessity for an international investigation of the Andijan events of 13 May 2005.

On 15 August 2007, Berdiyev went to pick up his passport at the passport and visa department (OVIR) for his place of residence, which is located at the Jarkurgan District Department of Internal Affairs of the Surhandarya Region of Uzbekistan, but then did not return home. For nearly two months, his family did not know his whereabouts. The disappearance of Berdiyev was preceded by intensified pressure from the Uzbek authorities. He became an object of public investigation involving the members of the mahala, his relatives and colleagues. Berdiyev was denounced for his civic position. Law-enforcement agents also took part in such meetings, who set the community against Berdiyev.

On 10 October 2007, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia announced the disappearance of Hurram Berdiyev and appealed to the special rapporteurs of the UN and the European Union. And Berdiyev was found in the Jarkurgan District Department of Internal Affairs of Surhandarya Region.

Soon afterward, Hurram Berdiyev was threatened with arrest. He left Uzbekistan and has been an émigré ever since. For some time, Berdiyev lived in Russia, and then traveled to Kazakhstan. In September 2013, his colleague Nuraddin Jumaniyazov appealed to him. He asked him to take in two men from Uzbekistan who were looking for work.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia is concerned about the fate of the Surhandarya human rights defender Hurram Berdiyev in connection with the declaration of him as wanted by police.  We consider the charges against him of “complicity in trafficking of persons” to be the latest attempt by the authorities to persecute a human rights advocate.

See also the press release “Uzbek Human Rights Defender Hurram Berdiyev Missing” of 10 October 2007.


Uzbekistan: a sentence against human rights activists Fakhriddin Tillaev and Nuriddin Djumaniyazov is upheld

On 17 April 2014 at the Tashkent City Court a meeting of the Appeal Panel on the case against Fakhriddin Tillaev and Nuraddin Djumaniyazov took place. The sentence is upheld.

On 17 April 2014 at a meeting of the Appeal Panel Nuraddin Djumaniyazov and a lawyer Polina Brownerg who represents Fakhriddin Tillaev were present. The sentence is upheld. The human rights activists intend to appeal to a Supervisory Court.

On 13 March 2014 Polina Brownerg, a lawyer representing Fakhriddin Tillaev filed appeal with the Appeal Panel of the Tashkent City Criminal Court. The defence was counting on annulment of the sentence for lack of evidence.

By Judgement  of the Shaykhantahur District Criminal Court of the Tashkent city of 6 March 2014, two human rights activists who are members of the “Mazlum” Human Rights Centre, Fakhriddin Tillaev and Nuraddin Djumaniyazov were charged found guilty of a crime of human trafficking under Article 135, Part 3, Subsection “d” of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The term of the sentence (clarified information). Tillaev was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months of imprisonment. After applying an act of amnesty, his sentence stands at 8 years and 9 months. Djumaniyazov was sentence to 9 years of imprisonment; after applying an act of amnesty, his sentence stands at 6 years. Both terms are deemed to start on 2 January 2014.

Specifics of the practice of Uzbek Courts. It is not the first time that a sentence read out in the Court room is different from the one that was handed down. On 6 March 2014 the Judge Sanjar Makhmudov announced that both human rights activists received identical terms i.e. 8 years and 3 months. It later emerged that Tillaev’s term was 8 years and 9 months and Djumaniyazov’s term was 6 years. The Judgement does not explain why Tillaev received a more severe punishment than Djumaniyazov.

A summery of the Appeal Application. The Application states that according to the Judgement Fakhriddin Tillaev is found guilty of being a member of an organised group which included Nuraddin Djumaniyazov and Khurram Berdiev, who lives in Kazakhstan; in September 2013 they sent the citizens of Uzbekistan Farkhad Pardaev and Erkin Erdanov to city of Shimkent of Kazakhstan with promises of salary of 600-1,000 USD.

According to the narrative of the Judgement, Tillaev did not travel with the “victims” to Kazakhstan and is only indirectly linked to this story. According to the “victims”, he met with them at a market place, when he approached them asking to sign up to the Trade Union of Freelance Labourers. He did not see them after that.

Fakhriddin Tillaev stated that he has nothing to do with Fakhriddin Pardaev and Erin Erdavon getting into to Kazakhstan. This was confirmed by the victims themselves, who passed the border crossing legally, without assistance of Tillaev and obtained a registration once there. When they arrived at the place of work, it turned out that they know nothing about construction works. Pardaev and Erdanov were offered to return to Uzbekistan. However, they asked very insistently to be given any work. They did not do a good job of even not complex tasks. Pardaev and Erdanov partially confirmed this; a citizen of Kazakhstan Zhanar Demeuova gave a witness account to this effect. According to her, they lacked any desire to learn anything or do any work. She added that no one abused or mistreated them.

Pardaev and Erdanov always had mobile phone is their possession. They could have contacted the police in Shimkent at any time or report to their family if they were subjected to beating, or abuse. Somehow, they never took this option.

It is absolutely unclear, why the victims who have skills as an electric, plumber, driver and plasterer did not want to work locally where they lived. These skills are very much sought after and well paid in Uzbekistan.

When they returned to Uzbekistan, neither Pardaev nor Erdanov sought medical care for alleged bodily harm caused. But, thanks to timely help from Abdulla Tojiboy Ogli and under his dictation they put down a complaint to the Tashkent city Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in which they wilfully distorted the facts in relation to their time in Kazakhstan.

During the investigation stage, a statement provided by Zhanar Demeuova was included in the case materials. She asserted that Pardaev and Erdanov did not work, were not skilled and only caused expenses.

The Court received an application to call Ms Demeuva as a witness, she agreed to give evidence, but the Court rejected the application.

The investigation was expedited and it took only 1 hour 50 minutes to charge Tillaev, question him as accused and to allow time for him to read the case materials against him. The case was referred to the Prosecutor’s Office on the same day.

It took 2 hours to question Tillaev, Djumaniyazov, Pardaev, Erdanov and Abdulla Todjiboy Ogli. After this, the Court left the room to elaborate on the Judgement and rejected an application by Fakhriddin Tillaev requesting a medical examination.

The application by Tillaev requesting a medical examination was filed on 23 January 2014. The investigating officer K. Abduzhalolov accepted it. But, up to this day, neither Tillaev nor his lawyer received the results of the medical examination.

On 5 March 2014, one day before the hearing, the investigating officer reported in writing that the application was sent to the Warden of the Tashkent Prison. It is not clear what provision of which law was the investigating officer guided by when deciding that the Warden of the Tashkent Prison was an appropriate official to consider this application as opposed to a forensic specialist.

The defence is of an opinion that the case lacks evidence of Fakhriddin Tillaev’s guilt. The lawyer applied to repeal the Judgement of the first instance on the basis of the following provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan:

- Article 497-1 (Decisions Subject to Bringing Complaint and Protest against by Way of Appellate Procedure);
- Article 497-2 (Persons Who Have Right to Bring Complaint and Protest against Sentence by Way of Appellate Procedure);
- Article 497-3 (Procedure for Bringing Appellate Complaint and Protest against Sentence);
  - Article 497-4 (Procedure for Extending Time Limit for Bringing an Appellate Complaint or Protest).

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia is of an opinion that the hearing by the Appeal Panel was not objective: it relies on the evidence given by persons who could not prove that they were subjected to exploitation in Kazakhstan; even if the exploitation took place connection of Tillaev and Djumaniyazov to this is not proven.


Uzbekistan: On the Situation of 8 Participants in an Action of Solidarity with Free Ukraine

Participants in an action which took place in January are to face a judge 4 April 2014. If they fail to appear, they face an additional fine.

On 27 January 2014 in Tashkent, 7 citizens of Uzbekistan and one citizen of Ukraine submitted a petition to the Ukrainian Embassy in Tashkent (the text is attached, in Ukrainian). They photographed themselves with the flag of Ukraine at the embassy. Then they drove to the Taras Shevchenko monument, where they photographed themselves with the flags of Ukraine and Georgia. After this, they passed through the mahalla to the Khazrati (Khast) Muslim complex and photographed themselves there.

Later, these photographs appeared on the sites of many independent Internet publications and were perceived as a show of solidarity with participants in the action “For a Free Ukraine” on EuroMaidan in Kiev – in support of those protesting and advocating for the integration of Ukraine with the Europe Union.

Three days later, it turned out that the Uzbek authorities had declared the action by the 8 participants an “organization of an unauthorized rally and picket” and punished them with a fine and administrative arrest. The terms “rally,” “picket,” “street procession” and “demonstration” are not defined in the national legislation of Uzbekistan.

On 29 January 2014, at about 20:00, Shukhrat Nurmukhamedov, a police precinct inspector and four officers of the Main Department of Internal Affairs of the city of Tashkent came to the home of Umida Akhmedova, a photo artist and documentary film-maker. They did not introduce themselves. They took away Umida Akhmedova and her son, the photo artist Timur Karpov, for a “chat.” They did not explain the reason for their detention, and did not show any papers justifying the detention. The policemen wrote out the summons to the police department only after being asked to do so by the detainees.

The same occurred with all the other participants in the action.
  • Information about the participants in the photographic session:
1. Timur Karpov, born 23 January 1990 in Tashkent. Citizen of Uzbekistan. Studied at Tashkent Theatre Institute in the film-making department, left after one year. One-man show at the Ilkhom Theater in 2009. Took part in group exhibits in St. Petersburg in 2008, in Uglich in 2013 and in Minsk in 2013. On 25 January 2014 at the House of Photography in Tashkent at the initiative of the Neformat Photo Club, a photo exhibit opened titled “One Space.” Among the participants was Timur Karpov. He presented photographs from the cycle “Abandoned Cities.” His work was banned from the show two hours before the exhibit due to the wishes of two directors of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan – Akmal Nur, chairman, and his deputy, Ravshan Mirtadzhiev. The decision about the censoring of free art provoked a conflict.

Under administrative arrest from 29 to 30 January 2014. By order of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases, on 30 January, under Art. 201 of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability (Violation of the procedure of organizations for conducting assemblies, rallies, street processions or demonstrations), was sentenced to a fine of 5,766,300 soms, which at the official rate is US $2,597. At the trial, an amount twice as less as what was indicated in the decree was announced.

2. Umida Ahmedova, born 21 October 1955 in Parkent. Citizen of Uzbekistan. Photo artist and documentary film-maker. Graduated from cultural and education academy in Vladimir (photo and film-making department) and in 1986 from the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). Author of documentary films, “Burden of Virginity,” “Women and Men in Rites and Rituals,” and the photo album “Women and Men from Dusk to Dawn,” for which she was sentenced in February 2010 on charges of “insult” and “libel.” The court did not specify a punishment, since immediately after being sentenced, she was amnestied. (The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan has yet to review her appeal to date.)

Under administrative arrest from 29 to 30 January 2014. By decree of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases on 30 January under Art. 201 of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability was fined 2,402,625 soms (US $1,082). (This amount was announced in court, but Ahmedova did  not receive the decree. It is possible that it contains the amount US $2,597.)

3. Alexei Ulko was born on 26 February 1969 in Samarkand. Citizen of Uzbekistan. Lives in Tashkent. Education: Uzbek State University of World Languages (Tashkent) and College of St Mark and St John (Plymouth, Great Britain). Teaches English at the British Council in Tashkent.  

Under administrative arrest from 29 January through 14 February 2014. By decree of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases on 30 January under Art. 201 of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability, was arrested for 15 days, and served the term in full.

4. Ashot Dannelyan, born 6 November 1983, in Tashkent. Citizen of Uzbekistan. Lives in Tashkent. Leader of the rock group Wings of Origami.

Under administrative arrest from 29 January to 8 February 2014. By decree of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases, on 30 January, under Art. 201 of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability, was arrested for 15 days, and released after 8 days.

5. Gulsum Osmanova, born in Baku. Lives in Tashkent. Citizen of Uzbekistan. Not subjected to administrative punishment, does not figure in the court decree.

6. Ilgar Gasymov. Citizen of Uzbekistan. Permanent resident of Tashkent. Member of the rock group Wings of Origami.

Under administrative arrest from 29 to 30 January 2014. By decree of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases, on 30 January under Art. 201 of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability was fined 5,766,300 soms ($2,597). At the trial, the amount announced was twice as less as that indicated in the decree.

7. Artem Lyudny, born in Kiev. Citizen of Ukraine. Permanent resident of Tashkent. Worked in an advertising company. Studied sociology at International Solomon University.

Under administrative arrest from 29 January through 5 February 2014. By decree of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases, on 30 January under Art. 201 of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability, was arrested for 15 days, and released after 8 days.

8. D.B. (At the request of the petitioner, I am not indicating his name). Citizen of Uzbekistan. Permanent resident of Tashkent.

Under administrative arrest from 29 through 30 January 2014. By decree of the Khamzin Court for Criminal Cases, on 30 January under Art. 201 Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Administrative Liability, was fined 4,805,250 sums ($2,165). At the trial, the amount announced was twice as less as what was indicated in the decree.

On 17 February 2014, Bakhritdinova filed an appeal to the city court. There is no official notice yet of the date of the trial and its decision.

The participants in the action were sent court summons. They stated that on 4 April 2014 they must appear
before the judicial executor A.A. Tilavov. In the event they fail to appear without a valid reason, a fine of 961,050 sums will be imposed on them in accordance with Art. 198 (Non-fulfilment of the lawful demands or obstruction of the fulfillment of official duties of a representative of the government) of the Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Administrative Liability and Art. 82 (Liability for non-fulfillment of an executive document and obstruction of its executor) of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan (“On the execution of judicial acts and other bodies). The decision of the court regarding the participants in the action went into force on 17 February 2014, but none of them have received an official notice of this yet.
  • System
As has been proven by practice, in Uzbekistan, administrative punishment becomes a formal basis for restricting the rights of the active part of the population. They are arrested for a period of up to 15 days; the amount of the fine can exceed activists’ annual salary. Often, criminal prosecution will follow administrative punishment. Human rights defender Fakhriddin Tillayev has found himself in this situation. In September 2013, he was arrested for 15 days and fined, and then sentenced to imprisonment for more than 8 years.

The situation of Sergei Naumov, a freelance correspondent for the online publication Fergana.ru is also alarming. The city court in Urgench issued a decision on 21 September 2013 at an open court session regarding actions he had supposedly committed, characterized as “petty hooliganism and violation of public order” (Art. 183 of the Administrative Code of Uzbekistan). Sergei Naumov spent 12 days of arrest in inhumane conditions. His attempts to appeal the court decree were unsuccessful due to pressure placed on his attorney and Naumov himself. From several indications, at the present time the interest on the part of government agencies in him is growing, which is leading to a restriction of his rights and mean that conditions may exist for a new provocation.

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia believes that regarding the participants in the public action “For Free Ukraine,” the following are violated:
Constitution of Uzbekistan, in particular:
- Art. 29 – “Every citizen has the right to freely express his opinion”;
-Art. 33 – “Citizens have the right to exercise their civic activity in the form of rallies, assemblies and demonstrations in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.”
International Covent on Civil and Political Rights, in particular:
- Art. 19
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
- Art. 21
1. The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia has sent the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, the European Union special Rapporteur on Human Rights, and the European Union Special Rapporteur on Central Asia, international human rights organizations and diplomats of democratic countries a statement on the non-observance of obligations under international human rights agreements.

See also:  Press Release Uzbekistan: 6 picketers arrested, their whereabouts remain unknown from 30 January 2014.


Statement on the Poisoning of Malohat Eshankulova

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia received by e-mail a message marked “SOS” stating that Malokhat Eshankulova, head of the Birdamlik movement in Uzbekistan, is seriously ill. Further, the statement said Eshankulova has been poisoned by the Uzbek authorities, has great difficulty moving around and is rapidly losing weight – 15 kg in recent months. Recently, Eshankulova traveled to Samarkand to visit her mother, in order to say goodbye to her before death.

The author of the petition asks diplomats to provide medical assistance to Eshankulova, and calls on people of good will to show solidarity by signing the petition.

Such alarming news has provoked serious concern, therefore our representative in Uzbekistan visited Malokhat Eshankulova. The meeting took place in the Birdamlik Movement office. Eshankulova was there with her daughter. Indeed she did look thin and explained this as due to a liver ailment. She admitted that she had not gone to Uzbek doctors and prefers care from a physician living in Turkey. Eshankulova did not state that the Uzbek authorities had poisoned her, and did not present any documented conclusions from doctors about poisoning.

Experts of our Association have not found persuasive the claims of Eshankulova in her statement that she was poisoned in revenge for her political activity, and have found it inappropriate and pointless to accuse someone of a crime. Eshankulova has long been undergoing stress, which might provoke her emotional reaction or even panic. Therefore, we do not believe that she is deliberately lying.

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia is an independent organization and reserves the right to verify information received, to provide a legal evaluation and freely express its opinion.

We do not believe it is necessary to comment on emotional evaluations. We remind our opponents that  intolerance to criticism and heightened self-regard lower trust in their statements.