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Kyrgyzstan: State's Case on Askarov Crumbling Under Scrutiny

A court in Kyrgyzstan’s Chui region held a hearing on October 4 on whether the case of jailed activist Azimjan Askarov should be reopened for fresh investigations.

Once again defying the demands of a UN Human Rights Committee, the court rejected pleas to release Askarov from custody pending further developments.

Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was given a life sentence in September 2010 after being found guilty of inciting a crowd to murder police officers on June 13 that year during deadly inter-communal riots in the southern Kyrgyzstan town of Bazar-Korgon. He has always steadfastly maintained his innocence and pleaded in court to be subjected to a lie detector examination.

The case has grown increasingly toxic over the years and has placed authorities in the impossible position of having to either placate the international community — much of which has argued Askarov was unjustly jailed in a marred trail — or risk stirring the ire of ferociously nationalistic sections of the population.

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Kyrgyzstan: State's Case on Askarov Crumbling Under Scrutiny

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