The trial of Aziz Yusupov, an Uzbek human rights activist, independent journalist and former political prisoner from the city of Ferghana in Uzbekistan, is expected to start in the next few days. He was arrested on 25 September 2022 and charged with drug possession.
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA), the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) believe the charges were fabricated in order to penalise him for his human rights activities, in particular his recent prison monitoring work focusing on vulnerable groups of prisoners.
Furthermore, his detention came just after the authorities learned that he was applying for a Polish visa in order to travel to the OSCE Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw and appeared to be aimed at preventing him from attending this major human rights event.
We call for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defender, independent journalist and former political prisoner Aziz Yusupov in Uzbekistan. All charges against him should be dropped and he should be allowed to continue his peaceful human rights work.
Read the full statement here.