Monday, April 30, 2007

Human Rights Watch: Uzbekistan: Human Rights Defender’s Trial Opens

Uzbekistan: Human Rights Defender’s Trial Opens
Charges Stem From Materials on Andijan Massacre

(Tashkent, April 30, 2007) – The trial of Uzbek human rights defender Umida Niazova unexpectedly got under way in Tashkent today, Human Rights Watch said today. Niazova, who works as a translator for Human Rights Watch’s Tashkent office and is a human rights defender and independent journalist in her own right, is one of 15 Uzbek human rights defenders currently in custody in Uzbekistan.

“Umida Niazova should never have been arrested in the first place, let alone tried on politically-motivated charges,” said Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Like many other human rights defenders put on trial in Uzbekistan, she’s the victim of the government’s fierce crackdown on civil society.”

Amnesty International has declared Niazova a prisoner of conscience.

Niazova has been indicted on politically-motivated charges of illegal border crossing, smuggling, and distributing material causing public disorder by using financial support from foreign governments (articles 223, part 1; 246, part 1 and 244/1, part 3 v of the Uzbek criminal code). If found guilty she could face 10 years or more of imprisonment.

Niazova’s lawyer, Tatiana Davydova, was given only 30 minutes’ notice that Niazova’s hearing would start on April 30, 2007 in the Sergeli District Court in Tashkent. Human Rights Watch’s Tashkent office director was able to attend the hearing only in the afternoon. Niazova’s aunt and brother were able to attend both sessions, but her other relatives were denied entry. Due to the short notice of the trial, the Tashkent diplomatic and human rights communities were unable to attend. Niazova’s trial was scheduled to start on April 19, 2007. On that date diplomats, journalists, and human rights defenders came to the court, only to learn that the hearing had been “postponed indefinitely” due to the “complexity” of the case.

One of the charges against Niazova stems from research materials in her laptop computer, which the authorities confiscated when they initially detained her on December 21, 2006 at the Tashkent airport. At that time they confiscated her laptop and passport and released her the same day, but continued to investigate her on suspicion of criminal and administrative charges. Her laptop was sent for “expert analysis” to determine whether it contained subversive material.

In mid-January Niazova’s previous lawyer, Abror Yusupov, told her that the expert commission found no grounds for bringing charges, and that she could collect her laptop and passport from the customs agency. Niazova, who was in Kyrgyzstan at the time, returned to Uzbekistan on January 22, 2007 and was arrested soon after crossing the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border. She was held incommunicado until January 26.

The prosecution’s indictment of Niazova states that her laptop contained “extremist” and “fundamentalist” materials about the events in Andijan on May 13, 2005, when government forces killed hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters, following an armed uprising early that morning. It further states that the materials seek to “justify actions of the authors of the Andijan events.” When questioned by Davydova about which specific materials contained such statements, witnesses for the prosecution cited only Human Rights Watch’s June 2005 report on the Andijan massacre, “Bullets Were Falling Like Rain,” and an article by a local journalist, Aleksei Volosevich.

Human Rights Watch distributed “Bullets Were Falling Like Rain” to Uzbek officials immediately after its release and requested meetings with them to discuss it. It received no response to these requests.

In the morning session of the April 30 trial, Niazova confessed to the charge of illegal border crossing but denied the other two charges brought against her. She explained to the court that the materials found on her computer were personal copies for work and were not meant for distribution.

When Niazova was asked why she returned to Uzbekistan in January 2007, she responded “because I did not feel guilty.”

Nine witnesses testified in the afternoon session, including two former leaders of nongovernmental organizations, one human rights defender, four representatives from customs control office at the Tashkent International Airport, and three members of the expert commission who were called upon to analyze the content of Niazova’s computer.

The presiding judge, Nizam Rustamov, did not allow witnesses any time to respond to most of his questions and those asked by the defense and prosecution, immediately prompting them with excerpts from written statements they gave during the investigation.

Niazova was able to question witnesses, but the judge interrupted her several times. At one point he asked her, “Are you a lawyer?” and “Why didn’t you stay at home to raise your child?”

Three of the witnesses are experts from the Uzbek Agency of Connections and Information Center of Monitoring Mass Media. They were given Niazova’s notebook and flash stick on December 23, 2006. All three of them had difficulty remembering the conclusions they drew after analyzing Niazova’s computer. When Davydova asked them how they came to the conclusion that Niazova’s computer contained information that propagates religious extremism and fundamentalism, they were unable to specify their findings. One of these witnesses stated that the information on Niazova’s computer is not “dangerous” but still poses a threat if it were distributed.

Another of these three witnesses said that he never told Yusupov that the case was closed, which is what had prompted Niazova to return to Uzbekistan in January. The witness said that an investigation had been opened against Niazova immediately following her initial detention.

The two former NGO leaders both testified that they met with Niazova once and discussed with her their respective projects, goals and implementation of the projects. They both stated that they had never received any money from Niazova and that the funding for their projects had nothing to do with Niazova.

One human rights defender stated that he received a small amount of money from Niazova to pay for his internet connection. When asked about the draft of a project proposal on Niazova’s computer, he explained that it was, in fact, just a draft and he had not yet submitted the project for funding.

The judge forbade the Human Rights Watch representative from taking notes, and after she pointed out that plainclothes agents in attendance were taking notes, banned them from doing so as well.

Niazova’s trial is to resume on May 1 at 11:00 a.m.

Last week another Uzbek human rights defender, Gulbahor Turaeva, was sentenced to six years of imprisonment on politically motivated charges, among them anti-constitutional activities, for bringing in books by exiled opposition leader Muhammed Solih that are unofficially prohibited by the Uzbek authorities.

For background on Niazova’s case and additional Human Rights Watch reporting on Uzbekistan, please visit:

News release from details on the first day of the secret trial

For those who don't read Russian, it's a wholly staged trial.

Umida's lawyer was notified only half an hour before the trial opened. Those present were ONLY: Umida's sister and uncle and the Human Rights Watch representative. The judge forbade all to take written notes. Nine witnesses were called, the majority of whom were clearly unprepared and when at a loss for answers accepted the promptings of the judge. The judge made a point of speeding the proceedings along.

Western journalists were denied access although the trial is an open one. Not clear whether diplomatic personnel attempted to attend.

All those who have contacts in Tashkent who could go to the courthouse - please ask them to go! The trial is taking place during the maiskie prazniki, the traditional early May holidays, meaning that much of the Russian-language press simply shuts down. Words, pictures and testimony are very much needed. The next session is tomorrow, 1st May, at 11:00 a.m.

В Узбекистане в обстановке полной секретности начался суд над Умидой Ниязовой
30.04.2007 21:55 msk

Умида Ниязова
Фергана.Ру Сегодня, 30 апреля, в Ташкенте без предварительного уведомления начался процесс по делу Умиды Ниязовой, 32-летней правозащитницы и журналистки, арестованной узбекскими властями несколько месяцев назад. Ее обвиняют в нарушении сразу трех статей уголовного кодекса Узбекистана, предусматривающих наказание за незаконный переход границы, контрабанду, изготовление или распространение материалов, содержащих угрозу общественной безопасности и общественному порядку. По совокупности предъявленных обвинений ей грозит до 10 лет лишения свободы.
Можно не сомневаться, что начавшийся процесс – всего лишь легализованная форма расправы над женщиной, правозащитная деятельность которой давно уже вызывала раздражение властей. Начало судебных слушаний подтвердило это в полной мере. Напомним, что еще 19 апреля первое судебное заседание, которое должно было состояться в суде по уголовным делам Сергелийского района столицы, без всякого объяснения причин было отложено на неопределенный срок. Высказывались предположения, что это было сделано ввиду того, что на процесс явилось слишком много посетителей, поэтому власти решили отложить судебные слушания и провести их без посторонних глаз.
Сегодняшнее заседание целиком и полностью подтвердило эти предположения. Татьяна Давыдова, адвокат Умиды Ниязовой, была вызвана в суд буквально за полчаса до начала судебных слушаний, и только там ей было объявлено о начале процесса. Кроме нее на суд удалось попасть двум родственников подсудимой и представителю правозащитной организации «Human Rights Watch». Нескольких западных журналистов, попытавшихся попасть на слушание дела после обеденного перерыва, на процесс не допустили, несмотря на то, что официально он считается открытым.
О том, что происходило во время судебного слушания, рассказывает Андреа Берг, представитель «Human Rights Watch», единственная, кто была допущена на процесс в качестве наблюдателя:
- Суд начался в 11 часов. Еще утром о том, что он начнется сегодня, никто не знал, и даже адвокат Умиды Ниязовой узнала об этом только в половине одиннадцатого. Её вызвали туда и уже на месте сказали, что суд вот-вот начнется. Но она всё же успела вызвать брата и тетю Умиды. Вот и всё, больше на суде никого не было.
До обеда зачитывали обвинительное заключение. Умида заявила, что она не согласна с обвинением и подтверждает только нелегальное пересечение границы. Обо всем остальном она сказала, что это её работа и, как журналист, она имеет право иметь такие материалы (в ее ноутбуке были доклады по Андижану, интервью, разные фотографии), и что эти материалы не предназначались для распространения.
После обеда стали вызывать и допрашивать свидетелей. За сегодняшний день выслушали показания девяти свидетелей. Всего были вызваны две бывшие энпэошницы, один правозащитник, четверо представителей таможенного контроля и три члена Центра мониторинга в сфере массовых коммуникаций Узбекского агентства связи и информатизации.
Очень интересно было слушать показания трех свидетелей этого Центра мониторинга, потому что они считались экспертами, именно они дали экспертные заключения о том, что материалы, которые были записаны у Умиды на «флэшке» и в компьютере, пропагандируют религиозный экстремизм и фундаментализм. Все эти эксперты пришли в суд без каких-либо бумаг. У них были пустые руки, и они еле-еле смогли вспомнить, что в декабре они дали такое заключение. Они оказались совершенно не готовы отвечать на вопросы. Судья им зачитывал... Вернее, вначале он у каждого свидетеля спросил: «Расскажите, как всё произошло, когда вы получили эти материалы, что вы потом делали?» Но они не могли вспомнить, и тогда судья стал им зачитывать показания, которые они дали во время следствия. Они только говорили: «Да, да, я подтверждаю».
Потом один из них сказал, что относительно этих материалов в их заключении было написано «в случае распространения». А Умида держала себя на суде очень хорошо, в руках у нее было обвинительное заключение и тетрадь с вопросами и выписками из следственного материала. И она задавала много вопросов каждому свидетелю. Она спросила у него: «Хорошо, там написано, что наказание полагается «в случае распространения». А что будет «в случае нераспространения?» Он не смог ответить. Она ведь не распространяла эти материалы.
Потом были четыре свидетеля с таможенного пункта. Один из них сказал: «Да, действительно, я видел этот ноутбук через рентгеновскую установку». И рассказал, что невозможно в принципе спрятать какие-то вещи, поскольку это всё через рентген проходит. И что Умида Ниязова написала, что у нее были с собой эти печатные материалы. По его словам, она отметила в декларации, что у нее с собой цифровые носители и печатные издания. Но сторона обвинения тут же возразила, что якобы надо было еще раз подробно написать, какие она провозит материалы. Короче говоря, этим таможенникам очень трудно было в суде - они еле-еле отвечали на вопросы.
Аудитория на суде была такая: присутствовали тетя и брат подсудимой, я, женщина-милиционер, мужчина-милиционер и четверо мужчин в гражданской форме. Как обычно, я достала тетрадь и стала записывать, что там происходит. Судья мне запретил писать. А мужчины в гражданском спокойно писали. Я возразила: «Извините, но ведь они же пишут!». «Они не будут писать», - сказал судья и запретил им тоже. Судью зовут Низам Рустамов. У меня сложилось впечатление, что он очень торопится. Как только дающий показания свидетель начинает задумываться, судья быстро зачитывает показания из обвинительного заключения, которые он дал во время следствия и спрашивает, так ли это было. Не разрешает человеку думать.
Следующее судебное заседание по делу Умиды Ниязовой назначено на 1 мая, на 11 часов.

Update on Umida's Secret Trial

BRIEF MEDIA RIGHTS UZBEK RFE/RL - Brief: Uzbek Journalist Niyazova
Rejects Charges At Trial

PRAGUE, April 30, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The second hearing in the trial of
Uzbek independent journalist Umida Niyazova took place in Tashkent
today. Niyazova admitted her guilt to the charge of illegal border
crossing, but rejected smuggling and distributing material that could
cause public disorder. The trial was adjourned until Tuesday (May 1).
The first hearing took place 11 days ago (April 19). Niyazova faces
up to 10 years of imprisonment. (RFE/RL's Uzbek Service)

Umida's trial starts in secret

Umida's trial started in secret this morning. Reportedly only her relatives were informed at the very last minute, such that they were the only ones present at the trial opening. Umida is said to have asked for Human Rights Watch to be granted access as an observer.

The trial is continuing this afternoon. Now is the time to make noise and to try to have as many observers as possible at the courthouse.


30.04.2007 г. – Сегодня в суде по уголовным делам Сергелийского района города Ташкента без предварительного оповещения начался судебный процесс по делу правозащитницы и журналистки Умиды Ниязовой.
О том, что судебный процесс над Умидой Ниязовой начнется сегодня, не знал никто. По словам ее родных, им стало известно об этом в последнюю минуту, и они еле успели к началу заседания, и стали единственными, кто пришел поболеть и поддержать Умиду.

По словам одного из родственников Умиды Ниязовой, их приятно удивило то, что Умида в суде держалась очень уверенно и четко отвечала на вопросы прокурора и судьи.

Транспортная прокуратура Узбекистана, которая в течение трех месяцев вела следствие в отношении Ниязовой, предъявила ей обвинения по трем статья Уголовного кодекса Узбекистана: незаконное пересечение границы, контрабанда и распространение материалов, угрожающих общественному строю и безопасности.

На начавшемся процессе Ниязова, по словам ее родственника, призналась в незаконном пересечении границы, но отказалась признавать себя виновной по двум другим статьям. И попросила допустить на процесс представителя правозащитной организации «Хьюман Райтс Вотч» в Узбекистане Андреа Берг.

Суд по делу Ниязовой продолжится сегодня после обеда.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gulbahor Turaeva sentenced to a six year prison term

UZBEK RIGHTS ACTIVIST REPORTEDLY SENTENCED TO SIX-YEAR PRISON TERM. A court in Uzbekistan's Andijon Province has sentenced rights activist Gulbahor Turaeva to a six-year prison term for undermining Uzbekistan's constitutional government and threatening public order, reported on April 24. Turaeva was arrested on January 14 on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border with books from the banned opposition party Erk. Her detention drew protests from the international community, including an appeal from intellectuals for her release (see "RFE/RL Newsline," February 28, 2007), as well as the release of jailed activists Umida Niyazova (see "RFE/RL Newsline," January 30 and 31, 2007) and Mutabar Tojiboeva (see "RFE/RL Newsline," March 8, 2006). 

Uzbek language article about Umida on opposition Erk Party website

Қочиш даврининг тугаши...Элбек Муҳаммадëров

Умида Ниëзова 32 ëшда. Икки яшар фарзанди бор. Журналист ва инсон ҳуқуқлари фаоли. Биз бу маълумотни янада тўлдирмоқчимиз. Умида Ниëзова таниқли қўмондон ва мутафаккир Алихон Тўра Соғунийнинг чевараси бўлади.

1976 йилда тўқсон ëшида оламдан ўтган Соғуний Шарқий Туркистоннинг биринчи ва оҳирги президенти хисобланади. Ўша пайтда у маршал унвонига сазовор бўлган.

Соғуний КГБ тарафидан 1938 йилда Шарқий Туркистондан ўғирлаб кетилиб қамоққа ташланган ва кейинчалик умрининг оҳиригача Қирғизистоннинг Тўқмоқ шаҳрида сургунда яшашга мажбур бўлган эди.
Соғуний 1967 йилда "Темур Тузуклари" китобини форсчадан таржима қилиб Ўзбекистондаги "Гулистон" журналида нашр қилдирган эди.

1971 йилда Соғуний "Тарихий Муҳаммадий" китобини ëзиб тугатди. Соғунийнинг "Туркистон қайғуси" китобида мана бундай сатрлар бор.

....Икки ëш бола олдимга югурганича келиб "Сизни излашиб юрибдилар, деб ҳабар бериб қолишди. Сўз айтишга фурсат бўлмади. Ëнимдаги Маузер соатимни "Сизга омонат, уйга бериб қўйинг", - деб Турсунбойга топширдим. Бир нафас бўлса ҳам золим юзини кўрмаслик учун жўҳорипоя ичига яшириниб турдим. Ҳали нафасим ҳам ростлангани йўқ эди, икки қуроллик аскарга беш олти қуролсиз кишилар эргашган ҳолда, чопганларича келиб жўҳори ичида ëтган менга от устида туриб кўзлари тушди. Мен ҳам қочиш даврининг тугаганлигини кўргач, балога сабр қилиб ўзимни таслим этишга мажбур бўлдим....

Кейин ҳеч бир ерда тўҳтамасдан тўғри турмага келтириб бизни топширишди. Бу воқеа 1938 йили, август ойининг бошларида бўлган эди....

Мўминлар учун энг оғир замон қайсидур, деб Расулулоллоҳдан сўраганларида "Ҳаромзодалар халқ устига ҳукмрон бўлса" деган мўъжиза сўзларини кўз олдимиздан ўтказдик.

Орадан 69 йил ўтиб Соғунийнинг чевараси Умида Ниëзова ҳам Қирғизистондан ўғирлаб қамоққа тиқилди. Бундан 69 йил олдин Соғуний қалбидан чеккан туйғулар унинг чевараси Умида қалбидан ҳам ўтгандир балки.

Харомзодалар ҳалқ устига ҳукмрон бўлмайдиган кунлар қачон келар экан. Бу савол жавобини топа олмай Соғуний оламдан ўтди.

Кейинги 69 йил ва айниқса кейинги 2 йил ўзбек эрксеварлари учун қочиш даври бўлди.Айни пайтда уфқларда янги давр¸ қайтиш даври аломатлари кўринмоқда. Соғунийнинг шогирдларидан бири Рауф Парфи ўзининг бир китобига "Қайтиш" деб ном қўйган эди.

Борса келмасга айланган ватан Ўзбекистонга қайтган Умида қамоққа тушган бўлса ҳам ҚАЙТИШ даврини бошлаб бериб қочиш даврига нуқта қўйди.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Узбекские правозащитники хотят быть общественными защитниками на процессе У.Ниязовой

From Vasila Inoyatova – Head of Ezgulik – an Uzbek human rights organization. They are demanding that Uzbek human rights defenders be allowed to monitor Umida Niyazova’s trial.


Узбекские правозащитники хотят быть общественными защитниками на процессе У.Ниязовой

24.04.2007, ЦентрАзия



Общество "Эзгулик" обратилось к председателю Ташкентского городского суда и председателю Сергелийского районного суда с нижеследующим официальным письмом:

"Политически мотивированное уголовное дело журналиста, правозащитника Умиды Ниязовой, безосновательно обвиненной по статьям уголовного кодекса 223, ч.1 (незаконное пересечение государственной границы), 246, ч.1 (контрабанда), 244-1,ч.3(в) (распространение материалов, содержащих угрозу общественной безопасности или общественному порядку, с использованием финансовой помощи, полученной от иностранных государств, передано на рассмотрение суда Сергелийского района г. Ташкента.

Правозащитное общество "Эзгулик", ведущее мониторинг судебных процессов, особенно в отношении инакомыслящих, дающих оценки текущим событиям, не совпадающие с официальной позицией власти, просит дать согласие на участие в судебном процессе правозащитникам Юлдашеву Ташпулату Кучкаровичу и Иноятовой Василе Ахмедджановне в качестве общественных защитников Умиды Ниязовой. Согласие ее родственников имеется.

Просим информировать нас о принятом решении.
Решение принято Центральным советом ОПЧУ "Эзгулик" 18.04.2007г.
Председатель Общества "Эзгулик"

Accreditation of Human Rights Watch Extended

This is good news. Hopefully, the extension of HRW’s accreditation will ensure that outsiders can observe Umida’s trial….if her trial ever begins.

Uzbek Foreign Ministry extended Andrea Berg's accreditation for three months. Director of Human Rights Watch Uzbek office, Berg was summoned to Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov on April 21. Norov told her that accreditation would be extended as long as the law was abided by.

"As a matter of fact, Norov could not recall a single episode when Human Rights Watch broke the law," Berg said afterwards. She appraised the accreditation extension as a period of probation. Berg said it should not have any effect on the EU decision concerning sanctions against Uzbekistan. (The European Union will return to the matter of sanctions this May.)


UN rights commissioner barred from Uzbekistan

An bad sign before Umida’s trial….

BISHKEK: Uzbekistan’s government effectively barred the United Nations’ human rights commissioner from visiting the tightly controlled country during a tour of ex-Soviet nations in Central Asia, the commissioner said Wednesday.

Starting her tour in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Uzbek authorities had told her office that officials would not be available to meet her.

“To our request for a meeting, Uzbek authorities said they would have no time,” Arbour said, according to a Russian translation of her comments. The government of Uzbek President Islam Karimov is described by human rights groups as one of the most repressive in Central Asia.

The UN torture envoy concluded after visiting Uzbekistan in 2002 that torture was systematic in Uzbek places of detention. Rights groups say that in recent years Karimov’s government has jailed thousands of innocent dissident Muslims, branding them extremists.

In May 2005, Uzbek troops killed hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters in the eastern city of Andijan, according to witnesses and rights groups. Authorities blamed the uprising on alleged Islamic radicals and said fewer than 200 people were killed, mostly militants. Karimov rejected calls for an international probe and stepped up the crackdown on dissent.

After meeting with Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and other officials in the capital, Bishkek, Arbour said she was concerned about frequent cases of domestic violence against Kyrgyz women, including the abduction of young women for forced marriage. Arbour is also expected to visit Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. ap


Saturday, April 21, 2007

89 Days

Today marks Umida’s 89th day in detention in Tashkent. We have no further news about her status. Shortly, we will be providing more information about how you can advocate to ensure her release.

Friday, April 20, 2007

RFE/RL Uzbek Language Update on Umida's Trial

2007 йил, 20 апрел, жума

[ Жамият ] Умиданинг суди қолдирилди

Ҳурмат Бобожон

Ўзбекистонлик ҳуқуқ ҳимоячиси ва журналист Умида Ниёзова устидан 19 апрель кунига белгиланган суд гўёки судья иш билан танишиб чиқишга улгурмагани сабабли номаълум муддатга кечиктирилди.

Маълум бўлишича, У.Ниёзова Сирғали тумани жиноят ишлари судига олиб ҳам келинган. Бироқ сал ўтмай, унинг адвокати Татьяна Давидова суд биноси олдига йиғилган У.Ниёзованинг қариндошлари, ўнлаб ҳуқуқ ҳимоячилари, элчихоналар вакиллари ва журналистларга суд номаълум муддатга қолдирилганини айтган.

"Улар жиноят иши билан танишиб чиқиш учун вақт кераклигини айтяпти. Тўғрисини айтсам, нима бўлаётганини ўзим ҳам тушунмаяпман", - деди адвокат.

Айрим ҳуқуқ ҳимоячилари суд қолдирилиши мумкинлигини олдиндан тахмин қилган. Чунки Ўзбекистонда шов-шувли судларнинг бу тарзда ўтказилиши одатий ҳолга айланган.

"Суд бошланадиган кун олдиндан эълон қилинди. Тергов материаллари ўрганиб чиқилмагунча суд куни белгиланмайди. Булар судни белгиладими, демак ўрганиб чиқишган. Энди адвокатга иш ўрганиб чиқилиши учун бошқа кунга қолдирилганини айтишибди. Менимча, суд биноси олдига кутилганидан кўп одам йиғилгани сабабли шундай қилинган бўлса керак", - дейди "Мазлум" инсон ҳуқуқлари ташкилоти раҳбари Аъзам Турғунов.

У.Ниёзова устидан бошланиши кутилган судни кузатиш учун Сирғали тумани суди олдига унинг қариндошларидан ташқари элликдан ортиқ одам тўпланган. Улар орасида халқаро ташкилотлар, чет эл элчихоналари вакиллари, журналистлар бор эди.

Журналист Сид Янишнинг айтишича, У.Ниёзова устидан белгиланган суднинг қолдирилиши ишга оид янги фактлар топилгани билан боғлиқ бўлиши мумкин.

"Ишончли манбалардан маълум бўлишича, Ниёзова иши қайта терговга юборилган. Яъни У.Ниёзованинг компьютерида "рангли инқилоблар", хусусан, Украина, Грузия, Қирғизистондаги воқеалар билан боғлиқ қўшимча маълумотлар топилган. Шу боис, Умидага аввал қўйилган айблар қаторида янгилари пайдо бўлса, ажаб эмас. Яъни уни давлат тўнтариши ва мавжуд конституциявий тузумни ағдаришга уринишда ҳам айблашлари мумкин", - дейди Сид Яниш.

Ҳозир У.Ниёзова чегарадан ноқонуний ўтиш, контрабанда, диний ва чет давлатлар ташкилотларининг молиявий ёрдамида жамият хавфсизлиги ва жамоат тартибига таҳдид қилувчи материалларни тайёрлаш ва тарқатишда айбланмоқда ва бунинг учун унга 10 йилгача қамоқ жазоси тайинланиши мумкин.

Умиданинг ўзи ҳибсга олинган пайтда "Озодлик"ка берган интервьюсида бу айбловларнинг барчасини инкор қилган ва улар "бўҳтон" эканини айтган.

Ҳуқуқ ҳимоячиси Аъзам Турғунов фикрича, Ўзбекистон ҳукумати йўқ жойдан улкан жиноий гуруҳни тузишга уринмоқда.

"Контрабанда айби жуда мантиқсиз. Агар керак бўлса, контрабанда билан Ўзбекистонда очиқчасига шуғулланади одамлар. Оддий ходим у ёқда турсин, генераллар олдидан машиналаб, тонналаб контрабанда олиб ўтиляпти. Ҳатто бу иш билан Ички ишлар вазирлигининг мансабдорлари шуғулланяпти. Керак бўлса минглаб фактлар бор. Лекин уларнинг ҳеч қайсиси контрабанда айби билан жиноий жавобгарликка тортилмаяпти", - дейди А.Турғунов.

У.Ниёзова атрофида кечаётган жараён халқаро жамоатчилик диққат марказига чиқиб улгурган.

Чоршанба куни Германияда чиқадиган "Таге цайтунг" газетаси У.Ниёзова ҳақида "Ўзи билмаган ҳолда давлатга қарши жиноятчига айлантирилди" сарлавҳали мақолани чоп этди.

"Унинг январь ойидан бери қамоқда ўтиришидан нима маъно?! Бундан ҳеч қандай маъно йўқ. Бу Ўзбекистондаги деспотик режимнинг ҳаддидан ошгани, назоратдан чиққани, мустақил овозларни буткул йўқ қилишга жиддий киришгани белгисидир", - дейди мақола муаллифи, германиялик журналист Маркус Бенсманн.

Кузатувчилар У.Ниёзова тақдири Ўзбекистон ҳукумати ва Европа Иттифоқи ўртасида "савдо обьекти"га айланиб бораётганини таъкидламоқда. Таҳлилчилар унинг устидан бўлажак суд ЕИ ва Ўзбекистон ўртасида янги даражага кўтарилаëтган муносабатларнинг гарови бўлиш мумкинлигини башорат қилган.

Май ойида ЕИ Андижон воқеаларидан кейин расмий Тошкентга нисбатан жорий этган санкцияларни кучда қолдириш ёки бекор қилиш масаласини кўриб чиқади. Тошкент учун бу масаланинг ўз фойдасига ҳал бўлиши муҳимдир.

Аммо журналист Сид Яниш бу фикрларга қўшилмади.

"Бундай бўлади, деб ўйламайман. Жуда деганда суд Умиданинг кекса ва хаста ота-онаси ва икки яшар ўғли борлигини эътиборга олган ҳолда унга раҳм-шафқат қилиб, амнистия бўлмаса ҳам ҳеч бўлмаганда шартли жазо белгилаши мумкин ва бунга Умиданинг опаси Шафоат ҳам умид қилмоқда", - дейди Сид Яниш.

News Update on Umida from RFE/RL

Uzbekistan: Journalist Who Was Researching Andijon Faces Trial

By Bruce Pannier

Uzbekistan -- Umida Niyazova, journalist and human rights activist, with her son, undated
Umida Niyazova and her son (file photo)
(Courtesy Photo)
April 19, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The trial began today of an independent Uzbek journalist accused of charges stemming from her trip across the border to report on 2-year-old violence in eastern Uzbekistan.
Umida Niyazova faces allegations of illegally crossing the border and carrying contraband, and fostering unrest with the help of foreign funding.

Niyazova appeared briefly in a Tashkent courtroom today before the trial was adjourned to another date. The 32-year-old freelance journalist could face many years in jail based on the list of charges.
"They do not show us anything; no one tells us anything. The last time anyone saw her was two months ago, when her sister-in-law saw her," Niyazova's mother says.

In And Out Of The Courtroom

Some relatives and representatives of rights groups were allowed in the courtroom. But Niyazova's aunt, who identified herself as Shafoat, was outside throughout this morning's proceedings.

"A lot of people were there outside the court building before 11 o'clock [when the trial was scheduled to start]," Shafoat said. "At 11:30, a lawyer came out and said the court had adjourned because they couldn't read all the tomes. Then they took Umida back. They arrived at 10:30, and they left at 11:30 in an armored vehicle. You couldn't see into it."

Niyazova was first detained at the Tashkent airport in December. She was returning from a trip to Kyrgyzstan where she interviewed witnesses to violence in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon in May 2005. She was released, but her computer and passport were confiscated.

Uzbek authorities hinted, and later officially charged, that Niyazova possessed anticonstitutional or banned religious material. It is a charge she dismissed in comments to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service at the time.

"For me, these accusations of anticonstitutional activities are absolutely slanderous," Niyazova said. "To say they found anticonstitutional material on my person is absurd, and I've said this before."

Questionable Legal Advice

Fearing for her safety after her detention in December, Niyazova fled to Kyrgyzstan and sought asylum through the office of the United Nations. Niyazova's lawyer at that time, Abror Yusupov, reportedly advised her to return to Uzbekistan, saying Uzbek authorities found no anticonstitutional material on her computer.

Niyazova was detained as soon as she crossed into Uzbekistan in late January, and was taken first to Andijon and then to Tashkent. She has been in custody ever since.

Prosecutors portray Niyazova as a criminal trying to undermine the government. But rights groups and others are championing her cause and calling on Uzbek authorities to release the single mother of a 2-year-old son.

Andrea Berg, head of the Tashkent office of Human Rights Watch (HRW), notes that Niyazova also did some work for HRW, which Uzbek authorities have threatened with expulsion over criticism of official activities.

"While she was working as an independent rights activist and independent journalist, she worked at the same time as a translator at the office of Human Rights Watch in Tashkent," Berg said.

Refugees from Andijon streaming into Kyrgyzstan in June 2005 (TASS)Meanwhile, for those closest to Niyazova -- like her mother, Sojida -- information about her health and the case against her has been difficult to obtain.

"They do not show us anything; no one tells us anything. The last time anyone saw her was two months ago, when her sister-in-law saw her," Niyazova's mother says. "I do not know what her condition is, because no one has seen her. Her 2-year-old son is living with me."

International Attention

Niyazova's case has received considerable attention outside Uzbekistan. A number of rights organizations have called for Niyazova's release -- including HRW, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, and the International Women's Media Foundation.

The European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have raised the issue of Niyazova's case from their respective headquarters and during officials' recent visits to Uzbekistan.

Brussels, in particular, could apply pressure in light of EU sanctions against Tashkent over violence in Andijon, in eastern Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government has stepped up its dialogue with Brussels in recent months in an effort to get some or all of those EU sanctions lifted. The EU is due to review sanctions against Uzbekistan in May.

HRW released a statement today urging the EU to link closer engagement with Central Asian countries to genuine progress in improving human rights.

Today's tightly controlled court appearance will do little to dispel the worst fears of Umida Niyazova or her defenders as this trial continues.

The heavy security inside and around the court building also served as a strong reminder of the Uzbek government's severe approach to its perceived critics.

(RFE/RL's Uzbek Service contributed to this report.)

More News on Umida's Trial





Thursday, 19 April 2007 – The first hearing into the case of human rights activist and journalist Umida Niyazova scheduled for today did not take place, and a new date of the hearing is shrouded in secrecy.

The hearing was expected to be held in Tashkent’s Sergeli District court for criminal cases. It was not possible to establish why precisely Sergeli District, namely the Sputnik residential area, which is miles from nowhere, had been chosen to host the trial. Lawyers said that the matter was in the location of Tashkent airport where Niyazova was first detained: they say it is located in Sergeli District, although it seems to be in the capital’s Yakkasaray District.

Anyway, even if the trail had to be held somewhere in Chirchik, many human rights activists and independent journalists would have gone there because it is their colleague who is being tried.

Everything was going ahead as usual. The trial was scheduled for 1100, and by 1000 a few relatives of Niyazova, human rights activists and journalists started to gather at the entrance of a one-story squat building which rather looks like a barrack. As usual, national security officers zealously took pictures of everyone gathered and police officers guarding the building with no less zeal recorded the passport details of everyone who wished to attend the trial.

In general, everyone had to wait patiently: by the way, waiting has become part of such trials but it was not a success. Human rights activist Surat Ikramov suggested that the hearing might be adjourned, and he was right – an armoured vehicle drove Niyazova away at 1125. Lawyers said that the trail had been adjourned indefinitely.

Independent sources have said that new unfavourable facts have been established in Niyazova’s case and it has been sent for additional investigation. Russia’s RTR TV channel broadcast a documentary on “colour revolutions” last Sunday. As is known, the Uzbek intelligence officers have found all the compromising materials in Niyazova’s laptop, which has become the main piece of evidence in her case.

The matter is that after the channel showed the documentary about “colour revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan and their heroes, the information about these heroes was found on Niyazova’s laptop. Investigators need some time to put forward their new charges. That is why it is not clear when the trial will start.

Meanwhile, Niyazova’s relatives have not given up their hopes for the favourable outcome of this trial. “I am ready for the worst, but hope for the best,” Umida’s sister Shafoat said. “With charges under three articles it is unrealistic to hope for pardoning, but I hope that the trial will take into account that her old parents and her very young child depend on her. I hope for our justice system’s mercy and that she will get a suspended sentence.”

Uzbek Government Postpones Umida's Trial without Explanation

Article posted from


Узбекистан: Суд над правозащитницей и журналисткой Умидой Ниязовой отложен без объяснения причин

19.04.2007, Фергана.Ру

Сегодня, 19 апреля, в Сергелийском районном суде г.Ташкента должен был начаться судебный процесс по делу Умиды Ниязовой, арестованной несколько месяцев назад журналистки и правозащитницы, обвиняемой властями Узбекистана в совершении ряда уголовных преступлений.

К 11 часам у здания суда собралось примерно пятьдесят человек - родственники подсудимой, журналисты, правозащитники, представители иностранных посольств и международных организаций, а также одетые в штатское сотрудники спецслужб. Саму Умиду Ниязову доставили в суд часом раньше.

Однако процесс так и не открылся. После часового ожидания к собравшимся вышла адвокат подсудимой Татьяна Давыдова и сообщила, что заседание откладывается на неопределенное время без объяснения причин.

Подобная практика для Узбекистана является обычной. Во избежание присутствия на судебном процессе нежелательных свидетелей, которые затем могли бы предать огласке тот факт, что суд отрабатывал приказ упрятать за решетку неугодную персону, судебные слушания нередко переносятся на периферию или бесконечно откладываются, пока от изначально большого количества желающих присутствовать не остается всего несколько человек.

Напомним, Умида Ниязова обвиняется в незаконном выезде за границу, контрабанде, изготовлении или распространение материалов, содержащих угрозу общественной безопасности и общественному порядку с использованием финансовой или иной материальной помощи, полученной от религиозных организаций, а также от иностранных государств, организаций и граждан. По заявлению международной правозащитной организации Human Rights Watch, по совокупности всех обвинений Умиде Ниязовой может грозить до десяти лет заключения.


Free Umida Niyazova

This blog is devoted to news and other information related to the detention of Umida Niyazova, a highly respected and dedicated Uzbek human rights advocate who is currently in detention in Tashkent. Please feel free to post any news you may have on Umida to this website or send them directly to We will be posting news articles as we receive them.

Any comments or news items in Uzbek, Russian, English, or other languages are welcome.

Public awareness of her situation will hopefully lead to her release. If you have any ideas or suggestions for how those of us concerned about Umida can do more to secure her release you can post them here or send them to us via email.