A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, 13 May 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, to consider the cassation of the human rights defenderМай 12.2020
Human Rights Movement “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan”
A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, 13 May 2020 at 2:00 p.m. in the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, to consider the cassation of the human rights defender, prisoner of conscience Azimzhan Askarov, against the judgment of the Chui Oblast Court dated 24 January 2017.
The defense and Azimzhan Askarov himself are ready to submit to the judicial board all the arguments on the importance and urgency of the implementation of the Views of the Human Rights Committee dated 31 March 2016 by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The case of handling of the complaint of the torture victim Azimzhan Askarov has demonstrated to the world the refusal of the former authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic to execute the Views of the UN Human Rights Committee regarding his immediate release from prison.
Article 6 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic establishes that the State is bound by international treaties, which complies with article 31 of the Law on international treaties of the Kyrgyz Republic and the first articles of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code of the Kyrgyz Republic. By virtue of these regulations, international treaties of the Kyrgyz Republic are subject to mandatory and strict observance in accordance with international law.
The provisions of the International Covenant should be interpreted and applied by the Kyrgyz Republic in accordance with the practice of the UN Human Rights Committee. The UN Human Rights Committee determines if there is a violation of the Covenant, and States parties are required to faithfully implement the Committee's Views within the framework of their voluntary commitments. Therefore, the right to an effective remedy put forth in article 2 of the Covenant presumes that the State party faithfully provides for re-examination of cases, as long as this is in accordance with the Committee's Views, in order to restore the rights of those who applied to the Committee.
The fact that the case of Azimzhan Askarov was sent for a new consideration in 2016 did not help to eliminate the violations of human rights that were committed, despite the direct statement of the Human Rights Committee in the Views dated 31 March 2016. Azimzhan Askarov, a prisoner of conscience, has not been released. The violation of article 7 on the prohibition of torture has not been rectified: an effective investigation into the facts of torture has not been carried out, although the investigation has been consistently required by the UN bodies.
During the proceedings, Azimzhan Askarov was held in an iron cage, shackled and handcuffed, which directly violates the prohibition of inhuman treatment and the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in article 26 of the Kyrgyz Constitution. The Chui Oblast Court considered the case within the same framework as the Bazar-Korgon District Court in 2010.
As a result, the violated right of Azimzhan Askarov to an effective judicial defense, put forward in article 2 of the Covenant, was not restored.
This opinion is also shared by the International Commission of Jurists, which concluded that the trial in the Chui regional court did not restore the rights of the victim of torture Askarov. The legal opinion was signed by leading experts in international human rights law. Those include Sir Nicolas Bratza, who has been a judge and president of the European Court of Human Rights for many years; Professor Juan Mendez, a former UN Special Rapporteur on torture who has visited the Kyrgyz Republic; as well as judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa Azhar Kachalia, who had been fighting against apartheid for many years. Their joint opinion is highly respected in the international community (see: http://birduino.kg/pressaru/kyirgyizstan-dolzhen-vyipolnit-svoi-obyazatelstva-v-oblasti-prav-cheloveka-i-osvobodit-pravozashhitnika-azimzhana-askarova,-schitaet-ekspert-oon).
In the framework of international legal procedures, the fact of non-compliance with the Views of the Human Rights Committee in the case of Azimzhan Askarov is undeniably confirmed by the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2018 and the Universal Periodic Review of the Kyrgyz Republic in January 2020.
According to paragraph 4, part 1 of Article 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Supreme Court has the right to cancel the sentence and terminate the criminal prosecution if the provisions of the General Part of the Criminal Code are violated. Since Article 1 of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic refers to international law, a violation of the international law will give the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic grounds to satisfy the cassation appeal of Azimzhan Askarov.
The Human Rights Movement “Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan”, together with a network of solidarity partners around the world, expresses its confidence that justice and humanity for prisoners with special needs, including the prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Azimzhan Askarov, will prevail, especially during the pandemic. Thereby the Kyrgyz Republic will confirm its commitment to the universal fundamental values of human rights and freedoms.
Journalists who need accreditation, as well as representatives of civil society and international organizations who wish to participate in the proceedings as observers should get in touch with the Supreme Court. Contact details of the press center of the Supreme Court: + 996 312 66 32 05, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information regarding the case of Askarov, please, contact us by mobile: +996 773 40 72 93, or email: email@example.com