ICCPR Case Digest

CCPR/C/125/D/2295/2013

Communication

2295/2013

Submission: 2013.10.01

View Adopted: 2019.03.29

Davron Abdurakhmanov v. Uzbekistan

Unlawful limitation on the freedom of opinion and expression of human rights activist in Uzbekistan

Substantive Issues
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Fair trial
  • Freedom of expression
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Right to appeal
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14.1
  • Article 14.2
  • Article 14.5
  • Article 19.2
  • Article 9.1
  • Article 9.4
Full Text

Facts

The author is a Uzbek national who wrote on behalf of his father, who at the time was imprisoned in Uzbekistan following a conviction on drug related charges. The author claims that the state party violated his father's rights under articles 9(1) and (4); 14 (1), (2) and (5); and 19(2), of the Covenant. 

The author's father is a journalist and human rights activist, who was known for reporting on government corruption and human rights abuses Uzbekistan. The author was arrested during a routine police stop in June 2008, where officers alleged that a drug-sniffing dog had picked up a scent on the officer. 

The author was charged with possessing illegal drugs without an intent to sell, and was placed on pre-trial detention. Following his arrest, all journalistic materials were confiscated. The author's father was later convicted of drug possession and sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2008. 

All appeals against the author's father's conviction were denied.

Complaint

The author claims that his father's right to be free from arbitrary arrest or detention under article 9(1) and (4) of the Covenant have been violated. The author further alleges that the trial procedures were inadequate, revealing serious procedural and substantive errors which indicate the bias of the courts and reveal a breach of article 14. The author also claims his father's right to freedom of expression under article 19(1) were violated as a result of his journalistic and human rights activism content being confiscated.

Merits

The Committee noted that in totality, the state party failed to explain why the confiscation of journalistic materials was relevant to the conviction. On this basis the Committee found a violation of the author's father's rights under article 9(1) and 14(1) of the Covenant. The Committee further found that in light of the facts, the confiscation of such materials consituted a violation of the author's father's rights under article 19(2).

Recommendations

Pursuant to article 2(3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide the authors with an effective remedy, including making full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated. Accordingly, the State party is obligated to:

  • to reimburse any legal expenses incurred by Mr. Abdurakhmanov and to provide him with an adequate compensation for the violations suffered.
  • return any and all confiscated journalistic materials. 
  • provide the authors with adequate compensation.
  • take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
  • publish the present views of the Committee in the official language of the state party.

Implementation

The Committee requested that the state party provide an update outlining measures taken to give effect to the Committee's views within 180 days, or prior to 29 September 2019.

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