Wednesday, March 30, 2011 -
Kyrgyz authorities are seriously violating national and international law by refusing to investigate claims of torture, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.
The rights group said a court in south Kyrgyzstan acquitted ethnic Uzbek Farrukh Gapirov of involvement in ethnic violence last summer because it saw proof his confession had been extracted under torture.
Gapirov’s torture claims were supported at the trial with photographic, medical and video evidence.
Yet despite abiding by the ruling by the Osh Municipal Court that said prosecutors should open a criminal investigation into the torture, prosecutors instead appealed to a provincial court, lost and then appealed to the Supreme Court. The court began reviewing the decision on Tuesday.
"The authorities' blatant dismissal of the court's orders in this case, and their refusal to investigate the use of torture despite overwhelming evidence, is incomprehensible," Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch said in the Monday statement. "It's hard to imagine what more evidence could possibly be needed to get the authorities to investigate a torture case."
Gapirov, 22, told HRW that Osh city police beat him with various implements and gave him electric shocks until he confessed to plans to kill ethnic Kyrgyz people.
South Kyrgyzstan were torn by deadly ethnic conflicts between minority Uzbeks and Kyrgyz communities in the regions of Osh and Jalalabad in June 2010 in the aftermath of a coup that deposed the country's president two months earlier.
More than 400 people were killed in the violence which Kyrgyz authorities failed to prevent, while some security forces reportedly facilitated attacks on Uzbek neighborhoods.