Sad loss of brave human rights defender in Uzbekistan

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) learnt with great sadness that Uzbekistani human rights lawyer Polina Braunerg died in hospital today after suffering a stroke.

Polina Braunerg was a courageous defence lawyer who tirelessly spoke out against human rights violations and defended several individuals imprisoned on politically motivated charges in Uzbekistan. Her professional activities were often obstructed by the Uzbekistani authorities who subjected her to harassment, surveillance and threats.

In recent years, the Uzbekistani authorities repeatedly refused her permission  to leave Uzbekistan to seek urgent medical treatment abroad, and subjected her to pressure to withdraw her request for an exit visa. Since autumn 2016, Polina was not allowed to leave the Tashkent region, where she resided, in a move IPHR believes was in retaliation for her human rights work.

Our sympathies go to Polina’s family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.