Urgent Interventions

risk of torture of Mr. Hasanbaev Salijan

Case KGZ 030603 Incommunicado detention / Torture / Risk of torture / Freedom of religion and belief The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Kyrgyzstan. Brief description of the situation The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights, a member of the OMCT network, of the arbitrary arrest of Hasanbaev Salijan for possession of documents relating to Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Kyrgyzstan. According to the information received, on May 23, 2003, 45-years-old Hasanbaev Salijan was arrested by members of Osh oblast Department of the Interior at Kara-Suuy market. He was reportedly carrying twenty leaflets related to the banned Kyrgyzstan Hizb-ut-Tahrir party. The Department of the Interior Osh region press claims that the seized literature contains anti-constitutional appeals in Russian and the Kyrgyz language. A criminal case has been initiated and an investigation is currently being conducted. The Ministry of the Interior has reportedly attempted to keep Mr. Salijan’s whereabouts secret and to conceal his name since his arrest, leading to fears for his personal integrity. Mr. Salijan has not had access to legal counsel and his relatives are unaware of his current condition. There have also been unconfirmed reports that Mr. Salijan has been tortured. OMCT has previously received allegations that members of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir run grave risks of being subjected to severe ill-treatment and torture while in detention, with a number of them having died in detention both in Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring Uzbekistan, where the group is also active. The Kyrgyz authorities claim that Hizbut-Tahrir "soul-hunters" often use crowded areas such as trading lines, markets and places of rest for distributing their material (leaflets, etc). Secular authority, law enforcement bodies, and the leadership in neighbouring Uzbekistan are reportedly the targets of the content of these leaflets. According to our sources, the authorities are disseminating false information regarding the activities of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir, and individuals like Mr. Salijan, in an attempt to portray their activities as anti-US and anti-Israeli, garnering US and Israeli support for actions taken against these individuals. OMCT has noted an increase in the crackdown against this group over recent months, notably since the onset of the conflict in Iraq. OMCT is gravely concerned for Mr. Salijan's physical and psychological integrity, particularly as there are unconfirmed reports that he has already been tortured, and his continuing incommunicado detention raises fears that he may continue to be subjected to such treatment. OMCT calls on the Kyrgyz government to order his immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are in line with international law, or, if such charges exist, to ensure that Mr. Salijan receives a prompt and fair trial and that his procedural rights are guaranteed at all times. OMCT also calls on the Kyrgyz government to ensure that Mr. Salijan is allowed access to legal counsel and family visits for the duration of his detention. Finally, OMCT calls on the Kyrgyz authorities to halt the repression of members of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir and respect the freedom of religion and belief in the country. Action requested Please write to the authorities in Kyrgyzstan urging them to: i. take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Salijan; ii. order his immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges, or, if such charges exist, bring him before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee his procedural rights at all times; iii. guarantee that Mr. Salijan is granted access to legal representation and family visits; iv. guarantee an immediate investigation into the circumstances of these events, notably the allegations of torture, in order to identify those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions provided by law; v. halt the discrimination against and repression of members of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir; vi. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards. Addresses · Mr Askar Akayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzskaya Respublika, 720003 g. Bishkek, Prospekt Chuy, 205, Fax: 996 312 218 627, Email: · Mr. Nikolai Tanaev, Prime Minister, Fax: 996 312 218 627 · Mr. Bakirdin Subanbekov, Minister of the Interior, Fax: 996 312 663 031, 996 312 288 788 · Mr. Kurmanbek Osmonov, Minister of Justice, Fax: 996 312 663 044 Please also write to the embassies of Kyrgyzstan in your respective country. Geneva, June 3rd, 2003 Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.