Human rights groups condemn Kyrgyzstan activist jailing

An Uzbek woman in the ruins of her house Southern Kyrgyzstan remains on edge after ethnic violence displaced around 400,000 people.

Human rights groups have condemned a life sentence handed to a leading rights activist in Kyrgyzstan.

Azimzhan Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was found guilty of inciting ethnic hatred during deadly violence in the southern city of Osh earlier this year.

The groups said the trial was marred by violence and procedural irregularities.

Independent Kyrgyz ombudsman Tursunbek Akun said he considered the court ruling unfounded and that the criminal case was fabricated.

Officials say hundreds of people were killed in the unrest in June.

Hundreds of thousands of others were displaced by the violence that erupted between the ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbek communities.

Reports said that Mr Askarov had been documenting attacks on Uzbek homes during the unrest. Amnesty International claimed he had collected evidence implicating police in the violence.

Human Rights Watch described disturbing scenes from the trial, including physical attacks against Mr Askarov's lawyers while police and court officials watched.

Local activist Sardar Bagshibekov told Reuters news agency that the trial was "very biased, heavily dominated by the prosecution. Strong pressure was put on defence lawyers and the accused".

More on This Story

Kyrgyzstan Turmoil

More Asia-Pacific stories

RSS

Features

  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima


  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence


  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


  • A woman dining aloneTable for one

    The restaurants that love solo diners


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.