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.