On July 11, the Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court will hear a petition for the release of Azimjon Askarov, a journalist and human rights defender who is serving a life sentence in prison. This week, CPJ and Human Rights Watch jointly called on Kyrgyzstan authorities to fully abide by an April 21 ruling by the U.N. Human Rights Committee that Askarov, a recipient of CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award, be freed without delay.
The statement highlighted that the Human Rights Committee found Askarov had been unjustly arrested, convicted, and imprisoned on trumped-up murder and incitement charges in September 2010. The committee also found that Askarov had been held in inhumane conditions, and was denied a fair trial. Kyrgyzstan is obligated to fulfil the committee’s decision that the journalist be released, CPJ and Human Rights Watch said.
A copy of the full statement can be viewed here.