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Karakalpakstan. Trial of 39 Karakalpak activists.

Photo: Supreme Court of Uzbekistan

February 06, 2023

Today, the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan published more complete personal data and details of the charges against 39 residents of Karakalpakstan involved in this case.

All of them are charged with organization or active participation in mass riots (Article 244, Part 3 of the Criminal Code).

Seven defendants were additionally charged under Article 244-1 part 3 (production or distribution of materials that threaten public safety) – probably on episodes of posting videos with criticism on the Internet.

11 people were also charged under Article 104, part 3, paragraph “a” (causing grievous bodily harm) – this accusation also appeared in the “case of the 22”, but was excluded by the court.

For 4 of these 11 people, Article 247, part 3, paragraph “a” (illegal possession of firearms and ammunition) was added.

Another defendant, in addition to participating in the riots, was charged with Article 166, part 2, paragraph “a”, “c” of the Criminal Code (robbery).

As can be seen from the published materials, three assistants of Dauletmurat Tazhimuratov (the main figure in the trial of 22 Karakalpak activists (‘Case 22’), who in recent months has become a national hero for many Karakalpaks), an editor and an employee of the newspaper El Khyzmetinde (translates from Karakalpak as ‘Serving the People’), are on trial as well as participants in street riots in Nukus and seven regions of Karakalpakstan (Kanlykul, Karauzyak, Kungrad, Nukus, Takhtakupyr, Chimbai and Shumanai). During the rally on July 1, one of the defendants stood on the roof of the car of the head of the republic, the second was on the same day among the demonstrators who came to Tazhimuratov’s house.

The “crimes” of the lawyer Oralbay Dosnazarov include, among other things, the fact that on June 27, 2022 he “held a meeting of lawyers on the topic of disagreement with the proposed changes to the Constitution” in the Tashkent hotel in Nukus, and also on July 01, 2022 gathered people at pre-trial detention center No. 2 and demanded the release of Tazhimuratov.

A serviceman of the National Guard was named among the defendants, who, along with others, “attacked law enforcement officers” on July 02, 2022. This brief information, perhaps, confirms the reports of a split among the security forces in those days.

Contrary to the assertions of the “independent commission”, the relatives of some of the defendants from this group told human rights defenders about the torture of the accused after their arrest (for security reasons, we do not publish the names now). They also said that for more than two months after their arrest, they had no information about the fate of their relatives, since they were kept incommunicado.

Relatives of some of the convicted of the first group (‘Case 22’) had previously reported that they intended to appeal the verdict and would meet with lawyers on February 6 in Bukhara.

Vitaly Ponomarev, Freedom for Eurasia. Karakalpakstan project

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