View Adopted: 2019.11.08
The author is a national of Kyrgyzstan who claimed that the state party violated his rights under articles 2 (1); 14 (1), (2), and (3) (d) and (e); 17 (1); and 27 of the Covenant.
The author is a founder and director of a national TV channel. During 2010, the author was accused of organizing numerous anti-ethnic Uzbek attacks in the country, due to his TV station airing coverage. On 28 October 2011, the Jalal-Abad City Court sentenced the author in absentia to 20 years in prison and ordered the confiscation of his property for separatism, organization of mass disorders and killings, among other charges. The author was not informed of the trial and learned of the verdict through mass media.
All subsequent appeals were denied.
The author claimed that the resolution passed by the state party denied him of any prospects of a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, in violation of his rights under article 14. He also alleged that the judgement against him was discriminatory in nature in violation of article 2(1) and 27. The author also claimed that the state party violated his rights under article 17 (1) because his house and business were unlawfully confiscated.
The Committee considered the authors claims under article 2(1) as general obligations which cannot be invoked in and of themselves, and found such claim inadmissible. Further, the Committee considered that the author had not substantiated his claim under article 27, and that the author had not exhausted all domestic remedies for his claim under article 17.
The Committee noted that the author has not provided any information indicating how the resolution – a political document – could have affected the criminal proceedings in his case. The Committee concluded that the facts as presented to it by the author did not allow it to find a violation of his rights under article 14 (2). Consequently, the Committee also finds no violation of his right under article 14 (1) of the Covenant.
Individual opinion of Committee member Shuichi Furuya (dissenting)
Shuichi Furuya disagreed with the majority, and considered that both the claim under article 14(2) and 14(3) were substantiated to the required standard, and further that they consituted a violation of the authors rights under the Covenant.
Furuya noted that due to the necessary procedural protections afforded by article 14, a trial in absentia is only compatible with article 14 where the accused is summoned in a timely manner, and informed of all proceedings against them. However in this case, the state party did not take all required steps to contact the author, and in the asbsence of justification this failure discloses a violation.
On the issue of the resolution in Parliament, Furuya noted that in order to find a violation of the presumption of innocence, it is crucial for the Parliamentary document to suggest his guilt. In this case, on the basis that the document specifically mentions the author by name as a perpetrator of the criminal acts upon which he was charged, Committee member Shuichi Furuya found a violation of the right to be presumed innocent under article 14(2).