Azimdzhon Askarov: Human rights activist dies in prison in Kyrgyzstan


Human rights activist Asimdschon Askarow died in prison in Kyrgyzstan. “The system killed him,” Askarov’s lawyer Valerian Vahitow told AFP on Saturday over the phone. According to the 69-year-old was seriously ill, but did not receive the necessary care.
In the end, his client “was no longer able to leave,” said Vahitow. He had brought him fruit on his last visit this week and asked him to persevere. “He cried and knew he was dying, but no one lifted a finger.”

Askarov was the leader of a human rights organization and worked for the interests of the Uzbek minority in Kyrgyzstan, of which he was a member. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2010 after violent clashes in the south of the Central Asian country for inciting ethnic violence and participating in the murder of a police officer.

Uno rated detention as “arbitrary”

400 people died in the riots and 400,000 people were displaced. Askarov had always rejected the charges against him.

The United States awarded him a human rights award in 2015, which led to diplomatic tensions with Kyrgyzstan, a loyal ally of Russia. The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) had previously awarded him the “International Press Freedom Award” in 2012.

In 2016, a United Nations human rights committee rated Askarov’s detention as “arbitrary” and complained that he was tortured in prison. However, Kyrgyz courts confirmed the life sentence several times.
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