Uzbek security officers convicted of murdering detainee

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 16:49:39 +0100

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Three Uzbek security officers were sentenced to
five to 15 years in prison on Thursday for murdering a detainee
suspected of involvement in a banned religious group. 

The three officers from Margilan, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the
capital Tashkent, were convicted after a monthlong trial at the
Republican Military Court in Tashkent of murdering Alimohammad
Mamadaliyev, 24, while interrogating him. 

The verdict came four months after a groundbreaking case in which four
Tashkent police officers were each sentenced to 20 years in prison for
beating to death a detainee and maiming another. The victims in that
case were also detained for alleged religious extremism. 

Such convictions are extremely rare in Uzbekistan, which has long been
criticized for human rights violations in its campaign against the
Islamic opposition. Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department's
annual report on human rights criticized widespread police abuse in
Uzbekistan. However, Uzbekistan's overall relations with the United
States have improved considerably since Uzbekistan welcomed U.S. troops
to an Uzbek air base for the military campaign in neighboring
Afghanistan (news - web sites). 

In Thursday's sentencing, Khamidhoja Saidov, the Margilan security
chief, and security officer Abdushukur Mirzayev were given 15 years in
prison each, and security officer Babur Fazylov was given five years in

According to the victim's father, Gulomiddin Mamadaliyev, his son was
detained last November along with four other young men from his village
for alleged links to the Hizb ut-Tahrir group. All except his son were
released the same evening. 

Mamadaliyev's body was found a month later in a canal with broken neck
bones and severe skull injuries. 

Gulomiddin Mamadaliyev said his son had had nothing to do with Hizb
ut-Tahrir, a group that calls for the creation of a Muslim state across
Central Asia. Hizb-ut-Tahrir also has adherents throughout the Middle
East, and has denounced the U.S.-led anti-terrorist campaign. 

Thousands of innocent young men have been jailed for alleged membership
in Hizb ut-Tahrir, human rights groups say. 

The victim's father said he would appeal the verdict because it was too

"Fifteen years is a long term, but my son will never come back," he

The leader of the Independent Human Rights Organization of Uzbekistan,
Mikhail Ardzinov, welcomed the military court's Thursday verdict as
just. But he said it still was an isolated case and that most crimes
committed by security officials go unpunished. 

Ardzinov said that over the past three years about 50 people had been
beaten or tortured to death in the country while in police custody. 

Source:  Associated Press

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