19 July 2023
Less than 10 days have passed since the presidential “elections” in Uzbekistan, when the special services resumed pressure on Karakalpak activists.
On July 17, in the Karauzyak district, a search was made in the house of Bagdatbai Ismailov, the head of the informal Karakalpak Alpamys party, and his phone was confiscated for forensic analysis. Then Ismailov was taken to Nukus, where he was interrogated until late at night. Earlier he unsuccessfully tried to apply for asylum in Kyrgyzstan. The afmily of the activist (wife and five children) lives in Kazakhstan, however, he is unable to travel to Kazakhstan because authorities refuse to issue him a passport.
On the morning of July 18, about 10 employees of the State Security Service arrived in two cars at the house of Sulyukhan Sagidullaeva (DOB 1972), who lives in the district center Karauzyak (O.Nurymbetov St. 14). Sulyukhan is the sister of the leader of the unregistered opposition party Alga Karakalpakstan, Aman Sagidullayev, who has been granted asylum in Norway. Two of her sisters, Gulzhakhan (DOB 1980) and Zamira (DOB 1976) who came from Nukus to attend a commemoration event of one of their friends and Sulyukhan’s son and his wife were in the house. Mobile phones of all present were confiscated.
The resolutions on the conduct of the search at both of the addresses were dated July 17, 2023, signed by the investigator of the State Security Service for the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Lieutenant O. Zh. Kdyrbaev, states that investigative actions are being carried out as part of criminal case No.350008/2023-20ФВ (details of which are not known). It is reporetd that the investigator personally participated in the house search.
ON 20 July 2023 officers of SGB came to Aman Saidullayev’s sister’s house in Nukus and Karauzyak. Sulyukhan was taken to Nukus, the older sister Gulkhan (DOB 1965) has lost consciousness. A medical emergency team was called. After this incident SGB officers decided not to take her to interroggation.
According to Aman Sagidullaev, who resides in Norway, on the evening of Thursday he only posseses limited information because phones of his sisters are confiscated and he is rtying to not call anyone in Karakalpakstan, to avoid worsening the situation of his relatives. Anotehr sister Aimkhan Sagidullaeva (DOB 1969) is forced to reside in Kazakhstan due to persecution.
It is not clear if house searches have been carried out in homes of other activists.
Thus, less than 10 days after the presidential elections in Uzbekistan, authorities launched new wave of attackes against Karakalpak activists. On the eve of the elections, some “mediators” promised Karakalpak activists that after Mirziyoyev was re-elected as President of Uzbekistan, the authorities would allegedly soften their position and be ready for a dialogue on the Karakalpak problem. However, as one would expect, these were empty promises.
It also became known that Zhumasapar Dadebaev, a Turkmen activist from Karakalpakstan, who was expelled from Turkey in 2022 and sentenced to 12 years for supporting the idea of Karakalpakstan’s sovereignty on the Internet, is being tortured in the KIN-3 colony in Karshi, where he is serving his sentence. According to him, torture is also used against other prisoners of this colony. The activist told his father Yegenmurat about this during a telephone conversation on July 3. There is evidence that Yegenmurat himself is being pressured to leave for Turkey, since he is not an ethnic Uzbek.