On 1 September 2014 at 05:30 in the Osh district of the city of Osh, near the "Hasiyat" mosque, Azimjon Ibragimov, an ethnic Uzbek born in 1951, was attacked.
He was going to the mosque for the morning prayer. Suddenly, he was approached by three young Kyrgyz looking guys who called him "You, Sart!". And then began to hit him with full force all over his body.
Currently, Azimjon Ibragimov is in the Trauma Ward of the Osh City Hospital being treated for two broken ribs, a concussion and numerous bruises. The incident has already been reported to the law enforcement agencies, but they are not in a hurry to carry out a thorough investigation.
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Over the past three months, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) received information about 65 people injured in the city of Osh. All of them are ethnic Uzbeks. We were able to establish personal details of and damage caused to 62 of them:
- deprivation of property (using bureaucratic mechanisms);
- assault with intent to cause injury and even death;
- threats aimed at compelling the victims to withdraw the application against persons who have committed wrongful acts. This also applies to victims of sexual violence during the ethnic conflict in June 2010;
- kidnapping: on 4 September 2014 there was an attempt of kidnapping of a young woman, an ethnic Uzbeks, living in the village of Nariman.
It causes a serious concern that the law enforcement officials are treating as hooliganism even cases that have become known to the publi. This allows dangerous criminals to evade charges and repeatedly commit unlawful acts associated with ethnic conflict.
Initiation of an investigation is often unreasonably delayed. The case of Kabulzhon Osmonov shows a typical situation in which the victims of discrimination on ethnic grounds find themselves when seeking protection by the legitimate methods.
He was attacked on 4 August 2014; he was given first aid on the same day, they also conducted forensic examination.
- On 22 August 2014, the investigator by the name of Ulan (he refused give his last name) during a telephone conversation with the President of the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Nadejda Atayeva, confirmed that forensic examination of injuries inflicted on Kabulzhon Osmonov was conducted; he is waiting for its conclusions. Without a written conclusion, he cannot establish the severity of the harm caused to the health of the victim. He offered to contact him on this case after five days. All attempts to contact him again were unsuccessful.
- On 27 August 2014, we published a press release “Kyrgyzstan: an attack on a basis of ethnicity”.
- On 2 September 2014, it became clear that a criminal case was filed only after when this case was reported in the media.
- On 27 August 2014, the victim Kabulzhon Osmonov and witnesses of the attack on him came under a heavy pressure from the investigators and prosecutors to force them to withdraw their statements for a criminal case.
The practice is as follows: representatives of law enforcement bodies and local authorities say that when victims of ethnic conflict (mainly ethnic Uzbeks) seek protection, they are supposedly trying to provoke a new wave of violence. The victim comes under a pressure to withdraw an application for a criminal case. If he refuses to withdraw his statement, often police officers threaten him with more harm coming from those whom he accuses of crime against himself and his family. They also often extort money from the victims or offer to leave Kyrgyzstan. In addition, the authorities are increasing the pressure on human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers who defend the interests of ethnic Uzbeks.
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) continues to monitor and inform the public of the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan.
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) urges all interested parties, organisations and the media to pay attention to recent cases of ethnic discrimination in the south of Kyrgyzstan: the cases of Kabulzhon Osmonov, Makhmudjan Nishanov and others. We have to do everything possible so that cases of all victims of ethnic conflict were considered fairly and objectively, and the perpetrators brought to justice.
In the next 7 days, information about all the cases recorded by AHRCA will be sent to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambayev, a mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations, international human rights organisations.