Don't be indifferent! First of all, Kyrgyzstan needs Law and Justice!

Июн 16.2021


When they ask me, "Where do you get your strength?", I answer that I get it from the immeasurable love for my Azimzhan, and a deep respect for him as a professional, as a defender of human rights, following the ideals that he promoted. He died almost a year ago. He spent the last 10 years of his life in prison. But to me, he is my husband, and I am his faithful wife.

He could, as the ex-authorities demanded, write a petition for clemency and be with us, at home, but he chose the path of a fighter for freedom and human rights in the Kyrgyz Republic!

My faith in the highest justice helps me to live. After all, there are still so many things to do. I still have the difficulties with the house where I live. Together with lawyers and human rights defenders, we continue to work on Azimzhan's cases, overcoming all new obstacles.

Yes, I need the strength to continue to defend Azimzhan's right to rehabilitation day after day, to get him recognized as a victim of torture and unfair justice. I need your support and understanding.

Looking back, I remember how we met, when we were young and naive, full of hope. We lived together for many years, gave birth to our children and and raised them, took care of our grandchildren. We thought that there it was - an ordinary life, filled with caring for loved ones, that this would continue for a long time... We did not know what huge challenges we would have to face.

We had to walk in parallel to each other: he was behind the bars, and I was free, but... not free.

Today I do not want to talk about the numerous trials, when I could only see Azimzhan from afar, as he was chained in heavy chains, rattling with his every step. My heart was bleeding, I didn't know how to help him and reduce his suffering. Together with our lawyers, we filed countless documents, visited hundreds of offices with requests for release, for easing the conditions for Azimzhan. He was suffering from ailments that were getting worse. I suffered together with him. I could feel his pain from a distance and sincerely wanted to help.

What could I, a simple country woman, do? I could stay loyal no matter what. I could not give in to despair and did not sit idly by. I could stay in touch with lawyers and journalists. During all these years, my life consisted of traveling between my home in Bazar-Korgon and the colony in Bishkek.

I knew that Azimzhan was alive, he suffered very much from the impenetrable indifference of the authorities. The heads of state and their entourage changed, and my husband was still behind bars, in degrading conditions. As well as hundreds of other victims of torture, about whom Azimzhan always worried and whom he wanted to help, while he had enough strength. He was never indifferent.

Today, I want to remind you how important it is to seek justice for those who have gone through torture and unfair trials. On 26 June, the international community observes the day in support of victims of torture. Those who were subjected to torture and ill-treatment suffer from it, as well as we, their relatives and friends. I did not sleep at night, worried about him, was sick and suffered. Torture is an absolute evil. We must work to eradicate this evil.

How much suffering can a person endure? How much pain can a person experience in a lifetime?

My heart aches, sometimes it seems that I lack a breath of fresh air and I run out of strength at the end. But I think about my husband and try to calm down, put my thoughts in order and act.

The fight for justice is never easy. There are always people nearby who will support and help with a kind word, advice, and show sympathy. This is the power of faith in the highest justice. I just live and believe. And I appeal to you: do not be indifferent to injustice. Be bold in your actions, true to your ideals, and strong in spirit!


Together we stand against torture, injustice, and impunity in the world!



Hadicha Askarova












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Feedback from our focus groups



Experience should be attached to a law degree

Shakhboz Latipov, 24 y.o., young lawyer: “When I came to BDK for an internship, I had no experience in legal and human rights activities. Together with experienced senior colleagues, I began to attend trials, studied documents. Gradually my supervisor Khusanbai Saliev began to trust me the preparation of documents, carefully checked them and gave practical advice. Experience comes with time and cases you work on. Every day dozens of people who need help come to us, many of them are from socially vulnerable groups: the poor, large families, elderly citizens. A lawyer in a human rights organization sometimes acts as a psychologist, it is important for him to be able to maintain professionalism and show empathy. At the end of 2019, I successfully passed the exam to get the right to start working as attorney and now I work on cases as an attorney. I turn to my colleagues for help on complex issues, they always give me their advice. This is one of the strengths of the organization: there is support and understanding here.”



Organization unites regions

Feruza Amadalieva, social worker, leader, teacher: “TOT from BDK is a great opportunity to get acquainted with participants from different regions, we continue to communicate on social media and when we meet at events, as close friends, we have such warm relations! At the events, I improved my knowledge, systematized it, clarified how to apply it in practice. I really like the training modules and the way the system of training and practice is built: role-playing games, theory, discussions. Each person expresses himself/herself. I have become a leader for other vulnerable women, I try to help them and engage them in such events.” Feruza Amadalieva is a regular participant of many BDK events, she invites the BDK lawyers to provide legal advice to vulnerable women.



I became confident

In summer of 2019, Nuriza Talantbek kyzy took an active part in conducting regional screenings of documentaries, helped with organizational issues during the campaign dedicated to the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, participated in trips, and did the TOT on women's leadership. She used to be a migrant, worked for an NGO in Osh, and now works in Bishkek in the service industry. She calls her participation in the TOT “an invaluable experience”: “I first attended such an event, and received exactly the information that I needed, for which I am sincerely grateful to the facilitators. I experienced very difficult issues in my life, and thanks to that knowledge, I was able to overcome them, I persevered! After the TOT, I became more confident, began to better understand the essence of human rights, and learned to defend my interests.”



The defendant has passed away. The work on his rehabilitation continues.

The case of Shukurullo Kochkarov shows that work on complex cases continues for many years. After the torture he was subjected to in 2010, he became disabled. We managed to get acquittal on one of the charges; the work is ongoing on achieving his rehabilitation and recognition as a victim of torture in order for compensation to be paid. Trials continue without Shukurullo Kochkarov - he died on 2 August 2019. His interests are represented by his father, Saidaziz Kochkarov, who also has a visual disability. “For many years, we have been supported by the employees of BDK, they have been handling the case of my son, they brought him to court because he couldn’t walk on his own, they constantly help our family: my wife and I underwent rehabilitation, they have helped my son by providing him with medicines, they provide all kinds of help”.



Comprehensive support for victims of torture

Resident of the Kara-Suu district, Dilyor Jumabaev, has extensive experience in dealing with law enforcement agencies. In 2010, he was accused of possessing firearms, and thanks to the work of lawyers, he was acquitted. Two years later, his house was first searched in order to find materials of an extremist nature, but nothing was found. In 2014, he was accused of possessing extremist materials. In court, the prosecutor requested 15 years in prison; the court sentenced him to 6 years. A few years later he was released on parole. “I am grateful to the lawyers of BDK for their expert legal assistance. I participated in a rehabilitation program for victims of torture. When I encounter violations, I recommend contacting this organization.”


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