UN rights committee voices dismay and utmost concern over Uzbek execution

In its latest expression of “dismay and utmost concern” over executions in Uzbekistan, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the Government to provide “a prompt explanation” of what it called another “grave breach” of a rights protocol.The case concerns Akhrorkhuzh Tolipkhuzhaev, sentenced to death by the Military Court of Uzbekistan in February 2004 and executed in March this year despite the Committee’s request for interim protection while it considered the issue.“The Committee had noted that in several cases, Uzbekistan had executed prisoners under sentence of death, although their cases were pending before the Committee under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant, and requests for interim measures of protection were in place,” it said in a press release, referring to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.“The Human Rights Committee has consistently affirmed that non-respect by a State party of requests for interim measures of protection constitute a grave breach of the State party’s obligations under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant,” it added.Less than two years ago the Committee cited the execution of six people whose cases were pending before it. Last September, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on torture, Theo van Boven, deplored the reported execution of people allegedly tortured into confessing and the Government’s disregard of UN pleas for a stay. He called on the Central Asian country to set a moratorium on the death penalty and urgently consider abolishing it.

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