ICCPR Case Digest

CCPR/C/128/D/2689/2015

Communication

2689/2015

Submission: 2015.11.17

View Adopted: 2020.03.13

M.Z. v. Uzbekistan

Substantive Issues
  • Failure to substantiate claim
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14
  • Article 15
  • Article 17
  • Article 19
  • Article 2.3
  • Article 26
  • Article 6
  • Article 7
Full Text

Facts

The author is a national of Uzbekistan who claims that Uzbekistan has violated her rights under articles 2(3), 6, 7, 14, 15, 17, 19, and 26 of the Covenant. 

The author, a professor of French language, was approached by her student N.B. who handed her an envelope. A few minutes later, the author was arrested by the police on suspicion of receiving a bribe. The author was followingly brought to the Office of the Prosecutor where she claims that the investigator swore at her, attempt to exert a bribe, and threatened her with physical abuse. The author also claimed that her request to use the bathroom was denied until five hours later. The author was later dismissed from her post at the university and was found guilty of extorting a fee in exchange for performing work that was part of her immediate official duties. The author believes that her arrest was initiated and arranged by the management of the university, citing a personal grudge of the new dean against her.  

In her complaint, the author claims that the State party violated article 7 of the Covenant given that the investigator threatened her with physical abuse, a harsher criminal penalty, and did not allow her to use a bathroom for over five hours. In addition, the author claims that her rights under article 14(3) were violated, given that the court denied her right to legal assistance of her own choosing, that there was an undue delay in the trail, and that the court did not allow her to have witness questioned during the trial. The author also claims that, in dismissing her from the university before the Court had delivered a rule, the State party had violated her right to the presumption of innocence. Finally, the author submits that her rights under articles 6, 15, 17, 19, and 26 of the Covenant were violated. 

Admissibility

  • The Committee ascertained that the same matter was not being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement. It also considered that it was not precluded under article 5(2)(b) from examining the present case on grounds of available domestic remedies. 
  • The Committee took note of the authors claim that her rights under article 6, 15, 17, 19, and 26 of the Covenant had even violated, but given that the author did not provide any information or clarifications to support those claims, found this part of the communication inadmissible.
  • The Committee was of the view that the author had failed to provide sufficient information in substantiation of her claims of torture and ill-treatment - and thus this part of the communication was found inadmissible.
  • It was also of the view that the author failed to sufficiently demonstrate in her submission of material that the court proceedings suffered from manifest defects in violation of Article 14(1) and (3).
  • Finally, the Committee noted that a decision by an employer to take disciplinary measures on the basis of credible information against an employee suspected of committing a crime before the criminal proceedings have finished is not incompatible per se with the presumption of innocence. Accordingly, the Committee considered that this part of the communication was also inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol. 

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