Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan maintains that no further investigation of the Andjian Massacre is needed
The Human Rights Committee reviewed the fourth periodic report of Uzbekistan on the 8th and 9th of July 2015. During the review the Committee recognised a number of positive developments including the introduction of legislation explicitly prohibiting torture in pre-trial detention, the creation of complaints mechanisms and training for prison workers. The installation of video recording in police cells following a recommendation by the Committee during the previous review was also welcomed.
However the Committee expressed concern about the slow progress made in the process of amending the definition of torture to bring it in line with the Convention against Torture, investigations into allegations of torture and the implementation of anti-torture legislation in practice. The Committee called upon Uzbekistan to ensure access to independent lawyers from the moment of detention and, given the steps they are already taking to create a National Preventive Mechanism, to consider ratifying the optional protocol to the Convention against Torture.
More generally the Committee posed numerous questions on treatment of individuals in detention, including the length of pre-trial detention, prison conditions, investigations into deaths in prison, the extension of prison sentences for breaches of prison rules and the 2013 decision of the ICRC to cease visiting detention facilities in the country as they were not able to speak privately with detainees.
Issues which have long been on the agenda for Uzbekistan were also raised including forced sterilisation, abduction of Uzbek citizens from abroad and trafficking.
The Committee welcomed the steps taken to eliminate child labour but expressed concern that forced adult labour continued and had increased following reductions in child labour.
Uzbekistan maintained that there is no need to further investigate the 2005 Andijan Massacre
The issue of discrimination also featured prominently, with numerous questions posed about non-discrimination provisions in legislation, racial hatred and discrimination against individuals of Roma origin and people with disabilities. The Committee highlighted the continued prohibition of same sexual relations between men and the problematic assertions in the state party’s report that sexual relations between men pose a threat to public safety, and questioned how this was reconcilable with the delegations statement’s that there was no discrimination in Uzbekistan.
Despite several questions posed by the Committee, Uzbekistan maintained that there is no need to further investigate the 2005 Andijan Massacre.
The Committee recognised that Uzbekistan responds to questions from Special Rapporteurs but highlighted that despite numerous requests, no special rapporteur has been permitted to visit the country since 2002. Other concerns included the independence of the judiciary, the right to privacy and the mahalla system, freedom of religion, freedom of movement in relation to the compulsory address registration system and the requirement of exit visas, extradition of foreign nationals, freedom of association, requirements to register a political party and the electoral framework.
The Concluding Observations of the Committee which includes recommendations to:
State of emergency and counter-terrorism (
Forced labour (19)
The next periodic report should be submitted by the State party on the 2nd of April 2020.
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