Uzbekistan: authorities must investigate allegations of torture against Alexander Trofimov

International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) are concerned about recent allegations that Alexander Trofimov, 29-year-old father of two, who is registered as disabled, was tortured by police on 6 and 7 May 2021 while being detained at Chilanzar District Police Directorate in the capital city of Tashkent without contact with the outside world. We urge the authorities of Uzbekistan to promptly conduct an effective investigation into these allegations, publish the results and ensure that those reasonably suspected of being responsible are brought to justice.

Read the full statement here.

Since President Mirziyoyev came to power, the authorities of Uzbekistan have taken some steps to address the endemic problem of torture in the country. Legislation was adopted stipulating that evidence obtained under torture is not admissible in court and to improve transparency in the criminal justice system. However, in the case of Aleksander Trofimov judges, prosecutors, and interrogators failed to respect the provisions of Article 26 of the Constitution and Article 17 of the Criminal Procedural Code which forbid torture. The fact that IPHR and AHRCA continue to receive allegations of torture and ill-treatment on a regular basis indicates that sustained change is still to be achieved.

We urge the Uzbekistani authorities to:

  • conduct a prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigation into the allegations of torture of Aleksander Trofimov, to publish the findings and to bring anyone suspected of being responsible to justice.
  • launch an investigation to establish responsibility of officials for failing to ensure that Trofimov has access to all legal safeguards aimed at preventing torture in detention;
  • ensure that all evidence extracted under torture is excluded from the case against Trofimov;
  • ensure the implementation in practice of the National Strategy on Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan, according to which the state undertakes to ensure that representatives of state authorities who are involved in torture are brought to account.
  • swiftly establish a rapid reaction mechanism for cases where there are allegations of torture, involving a 24-hour hotline, independent experts and independent representatives of civil society.