Uzbek executions 'lack justice'

Uzbekistan must stop executing dozens of people annually without giving them access to a proper justice system, a leading human rights group has said.

    Amnesty says the former Soviet state must end the death penalty

    Amnesty International on Tuesday called on the former Soviet state to end its use of the death penalty.

    It said executing people was irresponsible “where torture is systematic, corruption is unchecked at every stage ... and where courts apply the death penalty without the guidance of objective and publicly accessible sentencing criteria".

    Amnesty said that in many cases "family members do not know for months, sometimes even years whether their relative is alive or has been executed".
     
    Once informed that an execution has taken place, relatives "many search for years in the hope of finding the grave" as the authorities often refuse to release information about where the dead have been buried, Amnesty said.

    Countries criticised

    Amnesty also criticised countries it said had been involved in extraditing individuals to Uzbekistan who had then been sentenced to death and possibly tortured - namely Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

    President Islam Karimov has
    been criticised over human rights

    In July the United Nations Human Rights Committee strongly criticised Uzbekistan's execution of six people whose cases were awaiting the committee's consideration.

    On Tuesday Amnesty said it knew of at least nine young men who had been executed despite interventions by the committee.
     
    Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov has been a key supporter of US-led anti-terrorism efforts centred on neighbouring Afghanistan and some have argued that US support has given added legitimacy to his regime.

    SOURCE: AFP


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