2017: Kyrgyzstan: Azimjon Askarov

In 2010 Kygyzstan saw the arrest of its journalist and human rights activist Azimjon Askarov. Under charges of organising mass disorder and complicity in the murder of a police officer, mr. Askarov did not receive a fair trial and has endured torture and other forms of ill treatment since his arrest. Askarov is now victim of the police corruption and brutality on which he used to report. Norwegian PEN and the Writers in Prison Committee for his immediate release.


President of Kyrgyzstan
His Excellency Almazbek Atambayev
Office of the President
Chuy Avenue 205
72003 Bishek
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
psp@adm.gov.kg, oip@adm.gov.kg


Oslo 7th February 2017

Your Excellency,

Norwegian PEN is urgently concerned about the health and welfare of journalist and human rights defender Azimjon Askarov, who was arrested in June 2010 and remains in prison, where he is serving a life sentence on charges of organising mass disorder and complicity in the murder of a police officer.

The UN Human Rights Committee declared in March 2016 that Askarov had been arbitrarily detained, tortured, mistreated and prevented from adequately preparing his defence, in addition to being denied treatment for grave medical conditions.

PEN calls on Kyrgyzstan’s authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Askarov, overturn his conviction and investigate his allegations of torture fully and impartially.

Anyone found responsible for violating Askarov’s rights should be brought to justice, and Askarov granted adequate redress for any such violations, including, but not limited to, an enforceable right to compensation for any form of torture he is found to have been subjected to.


Yours sincerely,

Ms Johanne Fronth-Nygren
Member of Writers in Prison Committee
Norwegian PEN



Prosecutor General Indira Djoldubaeva
Botschaft der Kirgisischen Republik in der BRD
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs