Release of civil society activists should be continued

Ihtiyor Hamroev
Bahtiyor Hamraev: “My son Ihtiyor has been released, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who supported our family during these hard times” 

 On February 2nd, 2008, activist Ihtiyor Hamroev, the son of chairman of the Djizak regional office of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan Bahtiyor Hamraev, was released on amnesty.  It is necessary for international organizations, the European Union and the United States to use their influence in the release of people imprisoned for political activity or expression of their political and religious beliefs.  The Association welcomes the release of activist Ihtiyor Hamroev and removal of conditional sentence from human rights activist Umida Niyazova, accused in 2007 for "distribution of the materials containing threat to public safety and order", in which report of Human Rights Watch on Andijan events was included and classified as relevant. 

Ihtiyor HAMROEV, was born in 1985, citizen of Uzbekistan, an activist of the Djizak regional office of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU). From 2 August 2006, till 2 February,2008 Ihtiyor Hamroev served a sentence of three years imprisonment under article 277 part 2, paragraph "g" (hooliganism). During the years of his imprisonment there were three disciplinary punishments which, according to his attorneys, were fabricated. As a result his medical condition has substantially deteriorated. 

The temporary moratorium on sanctions of the European Union concerning Uzbekistan, adopted in reply to refusal of the Uzbek government to carry out an independent international investigation of Andijan events, which took place in May, 2005, is a way to stimulate the initiation of political and legal reforms. 

Implementation of the conditions listed below could be considered as rotary changes in the policy of current authority and creation of a favorable ground for development of liberal values. The government of Uzbekistan is in need of trust and support of the nation as never before. However the situation in Uzbekistan is far from being considered as a process of normalization of observance of the civil and political rights as the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty still prevails.  It is necessary: 
• To release of all prisoners who have suffered for political activity or expression of their political or religious beliefs. The Association attaches a brief list of activists of the civil society sentenced on political grounds; 
• To reconsider cases of inmates sentenced under political articles of the Criminal Code (Articles 158-3, 159, 216, 216-1, 216-2, 244-1 and 244-2);
• To release of human rights activist Djamshid Karimov from compulsory treatment in psychiatric hospital;  
• To admit the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross to detention centres where the respective prisoners are serving their sentences and other types of corrective establishments; 
• To stop the rigid control over civil society activists a during their movement inside the country; 
• To promote the establishment of legal mechanisms for both normal and safe implementation of human rights and functioning of the oppositional political organizations; 
• To allow western journalists to visit Uzbekistan in order to perform their professional activity;
• To create necessary conditions for activity of the international organizations and missions devoted to the development of humanitarian sphere and civil society, as well as radio and news agencies whose activity was suspended during 2004 – 2007.  
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia urges all parties concerned to appreciate the importance of the release of not only all activists, but also of representatives of the oppositional political organizations. In order to achieve this objective the Association calls upon the European Union and other international high level organizations to strengthen their influence and activity to bring reforms.