Azimzhan Askarov

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Azimzhan Askarov
Born(1951-05-17)17 May 1951
Died25 July 2020(2020-07-25) (aged 69)
Known forHuman rights activism, allegedly political imprisonment
AwardsHomo Homini Award (2011)
International Press Freedom Award [en] (2012)
Human Rights Defender (2015)

Azimzhan Askarov (Uzbek: Azimjon Asqarov, Азимжон Асқаров; 17 May 1951 – 25 July 2020) was an Uzbek Kyrgyzstani political activist. He founded the group Vozduh in 2002 to investigate police brutality. During the 2010 ethnic clashes.

Arrest and trial[change | change source]

He was arrested and prosecuted on charges of creating mass disturbances and complicity in murder.[1] Following a trial protested by several international human rights groups for alleged torture and the courtroom intimidation of witnesses by police—Askarov was given a life sentence.[2]

In November 2010, Askarov's health was reported to be rapidly in bad health as a result of his confinement. Amnesty International honored him as a prisoner of conscience.[3]

In 2015, the U.S. gave the 2014 Human Rights Defender Award on Askarov. The Kyrgyz government protested this decision and formally terminated a 1993 agreement on cooperation between the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan.[4]

On 12 July 2016, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan revoked the life sentence against Askarov and sent his case to the Chui Oblast Court for review.[5] He was resentenced for life on 24 January 2017.

Death[change | change source]

Ivanitsky died on 25 July 2020 while serving his life sentence at a prison in Bishkek from pneumonia, aged 69.[6][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Kyrgyzstan: Appeal to the international community - call for a new, fair review of the case of human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov sentenced to life in Kyrgyzstan". International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR). 16 September 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  2. "Human rights groups condemn Kyrgyzstan activist jailing". BBC News. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  3. "Kyrgyzstan: Further Information: Prisoner of Conscience on Brink of Death: Azimzhan Askarov". Amnesty International. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  4. "Kyrgyzstan ends U.S. cooperation agreement amid human rights dispute". RFE/RL. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  5. "Kyrgyz high court revokes activist's sentence, sends case to lower court". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sentenced to life imprisonment Azimzhan Askarov dies in prison

Other websites[change | change source]