Dozens of Karakalpaks Sentenced to Long Prison Terms in Uzbekistan

cover photo The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan

The Bukhara Regional Court handed down guilty verdicts against 39 people. Only two received restriction of freedom, the rest — prison terms

37 participants of the trial received prison sentences from 5 to 12 years. Among them are lawyers, journalists, a bank employee, and the unemployed. They were charged under serious articles, including ones on attempting to seize power and overthrow the constitutional order of Uzbekistan, participating in riots and others.

This is the second trial of Karakalpak activists. The first one ended on January 31. There were 22 people in the dock. One of the most respected journalists and activists in Karakalpakstan, Dauletmurad Tajimuradov, was sentenced to 16 years in a strict regime colony. He was considered the main organizer of the riots, although, in fact, he prevented them by saying that it is unnecessary to destroy someone else's property.

International organizations and Karakalpak activists, with whom Orda communicated, consider the cases against them completely fabricated and the harsh sentences are an attempt to completely destroy civil society in Karakalpakstan.

Constitutional amendments sparked the onset of the protests in the capital of Karakalpakstan. They provided for the deprivation of Karakalpakstan's sovereign status within Uzbekistan.

Convicted Karakalpak activists in the courthouse in Bukhara, photo by the press service of the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan

After the unrest, as a result of which, according to the Prosecutor General's Office of Uzbekistan, 21 people were killed and 274 were injured, the republic retained its sovereign status.

After the violent suppression of protests in Nukus, Karakalpak activists were also detained in Kazakhstan at the request of Uzbek authorities. Orda.kz has written about this before. In Uzbekistan, a number of media outlets claim that discontent in Karakalpakstan was provoked by outside forces.

Original Author: Maxim Skopin

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified the content is the same. Please refer to the original article in Russian for accuracy.

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