The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined four other human rights and free expression organizations in a joint statement calling on Kyrgyzstan authorities to conduct an independent investigation into the death in prison of journalist Azimjon Askarov.
The statement notes that authorities have failed to thoroughly and credibly investigate the circumstances of Askarov’s July 25, 2020, death in detention. Authorities have stated that Askarov died due to complications related to COVID-19, but have failed to adequately respond to allegations that the journalist was mistreated and abused in detention, the statement says.
It also calls on authorities to provide compensation to his family, and posthumously clear his name.
Authorities imprisoned Askarov, a contributor to independent news websites including Voice of Freedom, in June 2010 for his coverage of ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan, as CPJ has documented.
The full statement is available here.