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Startseite Urgent Actions 2015 05 Five more years for «violating prison rules»
UA 114/15
Abgeschlossen am 3. Juli 2015

Five more years for «violating prison rules»

AI-Index: EUR 62/1709/2015

Human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, Azam Farmonov, has been sentenced to a further five-year imprisonment for allegedly violating prison rules. He was due to be released at the end of April after serving nine years in prison.

The wife of prisoner of conscience Azam Farmonov, Ozoda Yakubova, received a phone call on 21 May from a former detainee in the pre-trial detention centre in the town of Nukus. He told her that Azam Farmonov had been sentenced by the Kungrad Regional Criminal Court to an additional five-year imprisonment for allegedly violating prison rules under article 221 of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan, «disobedience to legitimate orders of administration of penal institutions». Ozoda Yakubova does not know which exact violations were attributed to Azam Farmonov. The court did not notify her of the trial dates and neither she nor any independent observers were able to attend the trial. According to the caller, Azam Farmonov was transferred back to Jaslyk prison, a remote high-security prison camp in the north western Karakalpakstan region, where he served his original nine-year sentence.

Azam Farmonov had been transferred from Jaslyk prison to the pre-trial detention facility in Nukus in April 2015. He was due to be released at the end of April 2015.

Azam Farmonov, 36, a member of the independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU) was convicted for extortion on 15 June 2006 and sentenced to nine years in prison in the absence of a defence lawyer or a legal representative. The sentence was largely based on coerced witness testimony. He has always maintained his innocence. Azam Farmonov was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while he was held in pre-trial detention.

Article 221 of the Criminal Code punishes prisoners for committing infractions of the prison rules by imposing further terms of imprisonment of up to five years. There are no publicly available official lists of prison rules and their application often appears to be arbitrary and politically-motivated.


Azam Farmonov was detained in his hometown of Gulistan in eastern Uzbekistan on 29 April 2006, and taken to the pre-trial detention centre in the nearby town of Khavast. He was kept incommunicado for at least a week and he later told his family that he had been beaten and that police officers had put a gas mask over his head and turned off the air supply. He also said he was beaten on his legs and heels with truncheons, in order to force him to sign a confession. Despite the torture he was subjected to he didn’t sign a confession and he has always maintained his innocence.

Before his arrest, Azam Farmonov had defended the rights of local farmers who had accused some district farming officials of extortion, corruption and failing to protect farmers’ interests. He alleged that after he started investigating the farmers’ allegations and confronted local officials with his findings, some of the farmers were pressured by local officials and police, including through physical intimidation, to withdraw their allegations against the officials and instead to accuse Azam Farmonov of exerting pressure on the farmers to implicate local officials in abuse of their positions.

On 16 May 2006 Azam Farmonov was charged with extortion under Article 165 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. His family refused to use the services of his state-appointed lawyer after they learned that the lawyer had torn up the written complaint that Azam Farmonov had given him describing the torture he had endured in detention.

Azam Farmonov submitted a complaint to the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the torture he was subjected to, and his family lodged numerous complaints with all the relevant authorities, however, to date no investigation has taken place. 

Name: Azam Farmonov

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