Azimjon Askarov

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Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

In pivotal election year Kyrgyz media face verbal assaults from president and legal action

President Almazbek Atambayev, pictured at a press conference in 2013. In recent weeks, the Kyrgyz leader verbally assaulted several critical journalists during a speech to foreign ambassadors. (AFP/Vyacheslav Oseldko)

In Kyrgyzstan, once Central Asia's most liberal country, President Almazbek Atambayev is tightening his grip on critical voices, including independent journalists and foreign media.

Alerts   |   Kyrgyzstan

Court upholds life sentence for Kyrgyz journalist and activist Azimjon Askarov

Journalist and human rights activist Azimjon Askarov looks through bars at his retrial near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, October 11, 2016. (AP/VladimirVoronin)

New York, January 24, 2017--Kyrgyz authorities should immediately release journalist and human rights activist Azimjon Askarov and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Kyrgyzstan's Chui Regional Court today upheld a September 2010 life sentence against Askarov on charges of complicity in murder and inciting hatred for reporting on fatal ethnic violence in June of that year. The journalist's son, Sherzod Askarov, told CPJ that Askarov would appeal the verdict and that he had gone on hunger strike.

January 24, 2017 11:10 AM ET

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Letters   |   Kyrgyzstan

CPJ calls on World Bank to advocate for release of Kyrgyzstan journalist

CPJ calls on Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, to engage with Kyrgyz authorities and call for the release of Azimjon Askarov, an independent journalist jailed for life on retaliatory charges in 2010.

January 5, 2017 9:30 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Kyrgyzstan

Retrial of Azimjon Askarov to begin in Kyrgyzstan

Journalist Azimjon Askarov has been imprisoned in Kyrgyzstan since 2010 on trumped-up charges. Photo provided by Askarov's family.

New York, October 3, 2016--Kyrgyz authorities should fully abide by the United Nations Human Rights Committee's calls to immediately release Azimjon Askarov, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Statements   |   Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz Supreme Court leaves Azimjon Askarov in jail

New York, July 12, 2016 - Kyrgyz prosecutors should drop all charges against Azimjon Askarov and ensure the journalist's immediate release, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

July 12, 2016 1:27 PM ET

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Letters   |   Germany, Kyrgyzstan

CPJ calls on Merkel to use Kyrgyzstan visit to secure Askarov's release

CPJ calls on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to use her upcoming visit to Kyrgyzstan to call on officials there to release the imprisoned journalist and human rights defender Azimjon Askarov. The U.N. Human Rights Committee found in April 2016 that Kyrgyzstan is obligated to free Askarov, quash his conviction, and pay him compensation for unjust imprisonment. Chancellor Merkel is scheduled to visit Kyrgyzstan on July 13 and 14.

July 8, 2016 3:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

CPJ joins call for Kyrgyzstan to release jailed journalist Azimjon Askarov

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.

July 8, 2016 10:05 AM ET

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Statements   |   Kyrgyzstan

CPJ urges Kyrgyzstan to release Azimjon Askarov

New York, April 25, 2016--Kyrgyz authorities should immediately and fully comply with the U.N. Human Rights Committee's calls to free imprisoned journalist Azimjon Askarov, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court announced in a statement on its website today that if Askarov requests a review of his case, the Kyrgyz constitution obliges the court to hear it, in light of findings announced Friday by the U.N. Human Rights Committee.

April 25, 2016 12:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan must free jailed journalist Azimjon Askarov, UN committee says

A human rights body has called for the release of Azimjon Askarov, pictured with bruising caused while in custody. A report found his arrest and trial unjust and evidence that the journalist was tortured. (Nurbek Toktakunov)

In a milestone decision announced today in Geneva, the U.N. Human Rights Committee called on Kyrgyzstan to immediately release Azimjon Askarov, a journalist sentenced to life in prison in September 2010. The U.N. body issued its decision after reviewing a complaint filed in November 2012 by Askarov's lawyer, Nurbek Toktakunov, and a team of experts from the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative.

Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

CPJ meets with Kyrgyz prosecutor-general, calls for reopening Askarov case

This photo of Askarov was taken at the start of the trial in September 2010. (Nurbek Toktakunov)

This month, the prosecutor-general of Kyrgyzstan, Aida Salyanova, told the Committee to Protect Journalists that her office is working hard to fight corruption and ensure transparency in government activities.

We are not convinced.

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