APT appalled by attack on Kyrgyz partner

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Kyrgyz human rights defender and Chairperson of the country’s NPM, Ulugbek Azimov, was physically assaulted by group of unknown men on 9 May. The APT strongly condemns the attack and calls for a prompt, independent investigation into the incident.     

According to reports, Ulugbek Azimov and his family were travelling to a family gathering in Bishkek in the evening of 9 May when a car cut in front of his vehicle, blocking his path. Several men inside the vehicle were then said to have physically assaulted both him and members of his family. Ulugbek Azimov reportedly suffered a broken leg, concussion and multiple bruising as a result of the attack.  Azimov, who is a Kyrgyz citizen of Uzbek ethnicity, was also said to have been verbally racially insulted.

The APT has collaborated closely with Ulugbek Azimov for several years, especially in relation to the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism in Kyrgyzstan. We have also repeatedly drawn on his high-level of knowledge and experience in this regard by inviting him to speak at events in countries as diverse as Switzerland, Tajikistan and Mongolia. Most recently, on 16 April 2013, Ulugbek was elected Chairperson of one part of the Kyrgyz NPM, the Coordination Council for the Prevention of Torture, and is actively involved in the establishment of the overall mechanism.   

While the exact motives for the attack are presently unknown, the APT calls on the Kyrgyz authorities to effectively investigate the incident and track down the perpetrators.