English PEN is concerned by the continued detention of its Honorary Member Djamshid Karimov, an Uzbek journalist detained in a psychiatric hospital since September 2006. We believe he is held in retaliation for his reporting on human rights and criticism of the government.
Djamshid Karimov, who is the son of President Karimov’s elder brother who died in 1991, went missing for two weeks in mid-September 2006. He was eventually found in a psychiatric hospital in the city of Samarkand, under an order to be held in a locked cell. The Uzbek authorities have apparently confirmed that Djamshid Karimov is in psychiatric confinement, without specifying the reason, calling it a ‘private’ matter. Recent reports suggest that there will be a review of the detention order on 15 March 2007, based on a medical assessment.
Djamshid Karimov is known for being an outspoken critic of the government, and for his reporting on socio-political issues. He has worked in the city of Jizzakh for the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and for various independent journals and websites. He reported on the demonstrations and subsequent massacre in Andijan in May 2005, and was apparently watched closely by the authorities afterwards, as his uncle sought to silence all independent voices of protest in the country.
Shortly before his incarceration, in August 2006, his family complained about the high levels of police surveillance at their home and demanded that listening devices be removed. This request was not met. The family’s long-distance telephone connections were cut. At the end of August, the head of the regional administration allegedly visited Karimov and offered him a position on two state newspapers, an offer that was refused.
English PEN is extremely concerned about the forced hospitalisation of Djamshid Karimov in a psychiatric institution since September 2006, and fears that he may suffer ill treatment (such as forcible treatment with antipsychotic drugs) while detained. We believe he is being held in retaliation for his reporting on human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. English PEN therefore urges that Djamshid Karimov be freed and that the harassment and intimidation against him and his family cease.
Please send appeals:
– Expressing deep concern for the forced hospitalisation of Djamshid Karimov in a psychiatric institution and calling for his immediate release;.
– Demanding that Karimov, while deprived of his freedom, is granted access to his family, independent legal advice and any necessary medical treatment;
– Calling on the Uzbek government to do all that it can to respect freedom of expression, as recognised in the Uzbek Constitution, and to guarantee that cases like this will not occur again;
– Urging the Uzbek government to comply with its obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Uzbekistan is a signatory.
Appeals may be sent to:
Islam A. Karimov
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Ul. Uzbekistaniskaia 43
Fax: 998 71 139 5325
Alternatively, you may find it most effective to send your appeal to the President via the Uzbek embassy in London:
His Excellency Mr Tukhtapulat Tursunovich Riskiev
Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
41 Holland Park
London W11 3RP
Fax: 020 7229 7029
Appeals may also be sent to:
Prokuratura Respubliki Uzbekistan
Ul. Gulyamova 66, 700047
Fax: 998 71 133 39 17/133 73 68
Head of the National Centre for Human Rights
Natsionalny tsentr po pravam cheloveka
5/3 Mustakillik Maidoni
Fax: 998 71 139 13 56
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/uzbekistandetentionofdjamshidkarimov/