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Uzbekistan: Fakhriddin Tillaev, a human rights activist is under threat of long term imprisonment

tillaev site
Investigation on a criminal case N°2/13-474 was concluded on 14 February 2014.
 
A human rights activist Fakhriddin Tillaev and Nuraddin Djumaniyazov activist of Tashkent Independent Trade Unions are charged with human trafficking, they are facing 8 to 12 years of imprisonment.
 
Fakhriddin Khabibulloevich Tillaev born on 15 August 1971 in the Baysun District of Surkhandarya Region of Uzbekistan. He is an Uzbek citizen, married and has two children.
   -  Between 1989-1991 he studied at the Tashkent Cooperative College and graduated specialising as an "accountant and economist".
   -  Between 1992-1997 he studied at the Tashkent State University named after Al-Beruni.
   -  In 1994-1997 worked at the Baysun District Department of Natural Gas Supply.
   -  Between 1997-2000 he headed the Baysun District Trade Union of Small and Medium Size Businesses.
   -  In 2000-2001 he was a head of the Sukhandarya Region Chamber of Entrepreneurs.
   -  In 2002-2003 he was head of the Surkhandarya Region Department of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan.
   -  Since 2003 he is a member of the “Mazlum” Human Rights Centre.
   -  In 2004-2005 he was a Chairman of the Surkhandarya Region Department  of Independent Human Rights Organisations of Uzbekistan (IHROU).
   -  In 2005 he founded Union of Independent Trade Unions in Surkhandarya Region, in support of labour migrants.
 
We are also trying to find detailed information about Nuraddin Djumaniyazov.
  • Le cas criminel
On 28 December 2013 in the Headquarters of the Tashkent City Department of Internal Affairs the first questioning of two Uzbek citizens: Farkhad Pardayev (born 27.02.1969) and Erkin Erdanov (born 07.05.1959) took place. They accused Nuraddin Reimbergenovich Djumaniyazov (born 10.18.1948) of arranging for them to work in Kazakhstan, and their labour rights were violated once in Kazakhstan. According to investigators, they approached law enforcement agencies at the insistence of Abdullah Tojiboy-ogli, an activist of the "Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan".
 
On 2 January 2014 Fakhriddin Tillaev and Nuraddin Djumaniyazov were arrested. They are held in prison No. UA 64-IZ-1, in Tashkent. They are accused of "organised human trafficking" (Article 135, Section 3, subsection "d" of the Criminal Code of Republic of Uzbekistan).
 
According to the investigators, Nuraddin Djumaniyazov, at the request of Abdullo Tojiboy-ogli, gave Farkhad Pardayev and Erkin Erdanov contact information of a recruiter for  construction workers - Zhanar Demeuova, in Shymkent (South Kazakhstan).
 
Farhad Pardaev and Erkin Erdanov arrived in Shymkent on 5 September 2013, where they found Zhanar Demeuova. They explained to her their difficult economic situation. When she realised that they had no experience in this field, she refused to offer them any employment, but after much persuasion, she finally agreed to help. She paid for their room and board for initial period. She registered them in Kazakhstan, so that they were in the country legally. Their passports have corresponding stamps, the passports were immediately returned to them.
  
Demeuova soon found work with a foreman for them, so that they quickly learned the construction trade. Farhad Pardaev Erkin Erdanov took 15 days to do the work that a specialist usually performs in 5-6 days. Their wages were paid as agreed and on time.
 
A statement of Zhanar Demeuova, citizen of Kazakhstan, is attached to the materials of the criminal case. According to her testimony, Tillaev had nothing to do with the employment of these two people. The claim by Pardayev and Erdanov does not say anything about Tillaev. But he drew the attention of investigators because he visited Zhanar Demeuova accompanied by Nuraddin Djumaniyazov. Abdullo Tojiboy-ogli is called as a witness for the prosecution.
 
The hearing of the criminal case is scheduled for the end of February. The State provided Nuraddin Djumaniyazov with a lawyer, Sh. Shakasimov. Fakhriddin Tillaev is represented by P. Braunerg, a lawyer.
   
Tillaev’s lawyer believes that the Court will support the prosecution, despite signs of fabrication of charges by the investigation, although there is no evidence of "complicity" of Tillaev in human trafficking. The prosecutors for Tillaev combined the punishment which stems from previously filed administrative matter to the materials of case against him.
  • The Administrative Case
On 23 August 2013, at 21:00 hours, an intoxicated naked woman came to Fakhriddin Tillaev’s home in Tashkent. The woman in question lives in the house next door, but the Tillaevs do not maintain contact with her. At that moment Tillaev’s wife and two children were in the house. Soon after, 8 unidentified men knocked on the door, a man who introduced himself to be the naked guest’s husband, led her out of Tillaev’s house against her will. All intruders left. And then a local policeman appeared to have the statement of the woman, in which she falsely accused Tillaev of sexual harassment. The policeman passed the statement to the Chilanzar District Court of Tashkent.
 
On 20 September 2013 by Decision of the Chilonzar District Criminal Court, Tillaev was sentenced to administrative punishment under Article 40, part 2 (Libel) - a fine of 10 minimum wages, i.e. 1 million 372 950 soums (local currency); Article 52, part 2 (Bodily Harm) - 2 times the minimum wage, i.e. 183 thousand 060 soums; Article 183 (Disorderly Conduct) - administrative detention for 15 days.
 
In his Appeal, Tillaev wrote that the administrative case materials were collected with a flagrant violation of the law, and the hearing was held in an accusatory manner. He was deliberately deprived of the right to defend his interests, to give explanations, to present evidence, to submit petitions, access to a lawyer. He repeatedly asked the Judge to allow a lawyer to be present during the investigation of the administrative case and proceedings and demanded the Prosecutor's participation. The Court rejected his application ignoring the Article 294 of the Administrative Code (Rights and duties of the person brought to administrative responsibility). Tillaev asked the Judge to give him the opportunity to familiarise himself with the materials of the case, but he was denied even this right, contrary to Article 30 of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, which states that all state bodies, public organisations and officials of Uzbekistan shall allow any citizen access to documents, decisions and other materials relating to their rights and interests.
 
On 7 September 2013 Major I.Ostanakulov, Senior Prevention Inspector made a report. On 8 September, it was approved by Chief of the Chilanzar District Department of Internal Affairs, Colonel A. Yuldashev. But the Court received it only after 5 days, i.e. on 13 of September, in violation of the Article 282 of the Administrative Code (Direction protocol on Administrative Offense), which indicates that the materials should be sent within one day to the body authorised to hear the case. The Chilonzar Court Judge did not pay any attention to this. Forensic examination of Yu.Lykova was conducted on 3 September 2013. According to experts, on 23 August 2013 she allegedly received minor injuries. The examination was carried out only 10 days later. During this time, all minor injuries could have disappeared while, where the new ones came from is unknown. Moreover, the District Court and local police disregarded evidence given by Tillaev that Yu. Lykova was drunk, completely naked, broke into Tillaev’s apartment and in the presence of his wife and children smashed a computer and a mobile phone.
 
The Court on Administrative Matters did not take into account other violations:
            — Yu. Lykova’s statement is not dated and lacks registration date (page, case 8-9);
            — Statement of Ortsuev, a witness of the prosecution is not signed and lacks the warning on the criminal liability for perjury;
            — Tillaev’s submissions to call his wife and other eyewitnesses who could rebut Lygova’s evidence, were ignored by the Court;
            — the case contains evidence given by a representative of local Mahalla (community) Sevar Mavlonov, where he said that Yu. Lykova lived there for 10 years and Tillaev - 3 years; Tillaev actually lives there for 10 years, and Lykova - 3 years, with no local police registration. Tillaev tried to prove it in the Court, but he was not even given the word.
 
In his Appeal Statement, Tillaev writes that Lykova was not held responsible for her acts of hooliganism. He appealed to the local police inspector Major I. Ostanakulov and an official of the Mahalla, but the officials were not available in their workplace.
  • Torture and ill-treatment 
During the administrative arrest, Tillaev was tortured and threatened. He was forced to "confess" that he was a terrorist. The conditions of his detention were torturous in themselves. He was given a loaf of bread for a day, dinner consisted of almost inedible soup. He was only allowed to use toilet in the mornings and evenings. The prison cell contained 25 people, it was dirty and stuffy. Relatives were not allowed to see him, the authorities did not accept anything to be passed on to him.
    
At present, Fakhriddin Tillaev does not want to talk about his treatment. He fears that his situation could worsen. Tillaev looks exhausted.
 
The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, on the basis of the case materials, concluded: charges of "Human Trafficking" against human rights activist Fakhriddin Tillaev are fabricated and the administrative case was used as a way to prevent his departure from Uzbekistan to facilitate the fabrication of the criminal charges. This type of practice against civil society activists in Uzbekistan is particularly prevalent in the last eight months.