Uznews.net – Mirkarimov Sayitkarimov, 31, who is serving a 15-year term for attempting to overthrow Uzbekistan’s constitutional system, says he and other inmates are regularly tortured in the notorious Jaslyk prison in northern Karakalpakstan.
Surat Ikramov, the head of the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Activists of Uzbekistan, said in a press release that the inmate’s mother Klara Alimova had told him that her son had become a disabled person because of constant beatings in prison.
She told Ikramov that Sayitkarimov, a resident of Tashkent, was sentenced to 15 years for attempting to overthrow Uzbekistan’s constitutional system in 1999 when he was 19 and was transferred to Jaslyk in 2007. Since then, she said, he had been tortured by prison guard Jamshid Anayev, who once broke his skull.
The mother said that her son’s face was now covered in bruises and his right brow had disappeared because of beatings.
The inmate told his mother that many of those who were serving terms for attempting to overthrow the constitutional system had been constantly thrown into solitary cell and they had been beaten up – often to death. When Alimova visited her son in Jaslyk in April 2010, she learnt that three inmates had been tortured to death.
Ikramov said some prison guards had admitted to relatives of inmates that their bosses had received orders from the Uzbek Interior Ministry to force guards to torture prisoners.
The situation of torture has deteriorated in Uzbekistan, Ikramov believes, since 2003 when the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Theo van Boven, described torture in the country as “systematic” and “widespread”.
The USA, European countries and international organisations followed the situation of in Uzbekistan then, whereas even the national plan on eradicating torture has been forgotten now.
“The situation of torture will not change in Uzbekistan until it is condemned at the highest level – by the country’s president, but he does not want to do this,” Ikramov said.
Instead of solving this problem, the activist said, the Uzbek authorities are trying to silence human rights activists who raise this problem and intimidate relatives of victims of torture to prevent them from talking about the sufferings of and even deaths of their beloved as a result of torture.