To: Secretary of the Security Council of the KR
Prosecutor General of the Kyrgyz Republic
Akyikatchy (Ombudsman) of the KR
Head of the State Penitentiary Service (GSIN)
under the Government of the KR
From: The Chairman of the Board
HRM “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan” PF
concerning the fact of death in a penal colony and other violations of prisoners’ rights:
THE RIGHT TO LIFE
in closed institutions of the KR
In early January 2020, in the penal colony No. 47 of the State Penitentiary Service (GSIN) under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bakhadir Dzhuraev, a prisoner, a torture victim, accused of “participating in the riots of 2010”, died after a long illness. We request you to pay attention to systematic violations of his rights, that took place even after the new criminal legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic was adopted, providing for humanization and new probation standards in accordance with the Mandela principles.
When being detained and during the investigation, he was subjected to torture and ill-treatment. He was deprived of access to timely and quality medical care.
Due to inadequate conditions in which he served his sentence, B. Dzhuraev’s health condition worsened, which has been confirmed by medical certificates. He was morally depressed and humiliated. He got gangrene in his toes, he developed type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In the last year of his life, he had difficulty walking, suffered from constant pain. The medical report states that his death was caused by coronary heart disease and diabetes.
The 9 painful years of Dzhuraev’s life spent in closed institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic clearly demonstrate all the weaknesses of the work of law enforcement and judicial authorities, the State Penitentiary Service. Dzhuraev’s case proves that the fundamental right of citizens, the Right to Life, is not respected in closed institutions. This is evidenced by the official answers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic and the State Penitentiary Service of the Kyrgyz Republic on the number of prisoners who died in state institutions, which are facts of "extrajudicial executions in closed institutions of the country". Official answers regarding the death rate among citizens can be found in the attachment.
We repeatedly drew attention of the relevant state bodies to Dzhuraev’s state of health. When Dzhuraev, being seriously ill, was detained in difficult conditions in the pre-trial detention facility-1 (SIZO-1), the first deputy chairman of the State Penitentiary Service under the government of the KR, T. Nuraliev in his letter of 29 April 2019 stated that Dzhuraev’s overall health status was satisfactory. During 9 years that he was serving his sentence, he was not given amnesty. The lawyers' applications for humane treatment and for amnesty were rejected.
The fact of introduction of new criminal legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic aimed at humanization and decriminalization did not facilitate the positive resolution of the case of the prisoner, victim of torture Dzhuraev. Over the course of many months, the application for amnesty was considered by the institutions of GSIN. After an application was filed with the court, a refusal was received under the pretext that the right to grant amnesty belonged to the GSIN KR. A lengthy review of the application for amnesty further aggravated the state of health of Dzhuraev.
An individual complaint filed in 2012 with the Human Rights Committee regarding the violation of human rights of the torture victim, Dzhuraev, is pending.
The work to restore his rights has been conducted starting from his first appeal for protection in 2010 to this day. According to our data, following the Osh events of 2010, more than 40 people are currently serving their life sentences in places of detention. Among them is the human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov, who is almost 70 years old. His health deteriorates every day, he has lost a lot of weight, he is tormented by a dry cough, he complains that his feet are constantly freezing, that even warm clothes do not help. He experiences sharp spikes in body temperature, he breaks into a sweat. He cannot stand up for a long time, as "dots" appear before his eyes and severe dizziness begins. He does not sleep well, he is tormented by nightmares. The decision of the UN Human Rights Committee, which issued its Views on 31 March 2016 obliging the State to immediately release A.Askarov and annul his criminal record, has not been implemented.
Kyrgyzstan does not fulfill its obligations to protect and restore the rights of citizens, and does not implement other decisions regarding persons recognized as victims of torture and ill-treatment in accordance with the Views of the UN Committee. The rights of 6 persons convicted following the Osh events of 2010 and recognized as victims of torture and ill-treatment have not been restored, despite the individual complaints sent by the lawyers of the HRM “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan” to this Committee. The organization sent an appeal to the State Penitentiary Service under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, National Center for the Prevention of Torture and Cruel Treatment, Office of the Ombudsman in order to draw attention to B. Dzhuraev’s state of health and take measures to release him. Similar appeals have been repeatedly sent concerning the case of Azimzhan Askarov, which still remain without a relevant response.
Being held in inappropriate conditions of detention, lack of access to timely and high-quality medical care, the State’s refusal to objectively investigate the fact of torture and ensure the subsequent fair trial, as well as the right of pardon - all this negatively affects both physical and mental health of the convicted, and leads to deaths.
The death of B. Dzhuraev in the penal colony, as well as ignoring the implementation of the decisions of the UN Committee on Human Rights, is the consequence of a series of events that demonstrate the violation of rights and freedoms of the citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, which are inalienable, belong to everyone from birth, and are part of the highest values of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Taking into consideration the third periodic report of the Kyrgyz Republic on the human rights situation, presented at the 35th session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council, we request you to pay particular attention to prisoners with special needs in closed institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic, using alternative penalties, such as a house arrest, or providing access to quality treatment in state medical institutions. Mortality of prisoners or detainees in state institutions of the prison system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the KR (temporary detention facilities) and the State Penitentiary Service of the Kyrgyz Republic (GSIN) should no longer be allowed.
We hope for a further partnership on protection of the rights of detainees and prisoners in closed institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic, ensuring a humane attitude and respect for human dignity, excluding ill-treatment, torture and mortality in closed institutions of the country.
Chairman of the Board, HRM “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan”