View Adopted: 2021.03.16
The author of the communication is H.R., an Uzbek national who was a businessman in Andijan. Since 2013 he was periodically detained, interrogated, beaten and threatened by the National Security Service and the police Criminal Investigations Department to coerce him into providing false evidence against prominent businessmen. He fled the country after participating in a demonstration in 2005.
The author claims that between 2003 and 2004, he was periodically unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the National Security Service and the Criminal Investigations Department, in violation of article 9 (1) of the Covenant. He also claims that during these periods of detention he was seriously beaten and subjected to psychological abuse, in violation of article 7 of the Covenant. Moreover, the State party failed to implement adequate safeguards to prevent his torture, violating article 7 of the Covenant, read in conjunction with article 2 (2). The author maintains that the State party repeatedly disregarded his complaints about unlawful detention and torture, and that by failing to investigate those violations and provide the author with access to effective remedies, the State party violated articles 7 and 9, read in conjunction with article 2 (3), of the Covenant. He adds that, by using indiscriminate lethal force against the demonstrators in Andijan, the State party put his life at serious risk, in violation of article 6 (1), and his right to security of the person under article 9 (1) of the Covenant. He maintains that by creating conditions where he was required to flee his home to avoid being killed, the State party violated article 12, paragraphs (1) and (4), of the Covenant. Lastly, the author maintains that the State party failed to carry out an effective investigation into the violations of his right to life, to security of the person, and to freedom of movement, and did not provide him with effective remedies, in violation of articles 6, 9 and 12, read in conjunction with article 2 (3), of the Covenant.
The communication was submitted eight years since the author’s alleged arbitrary detention and torture, and seven years after the events in Andijan. According to rule 99 (c) of the Committee’s rules of procedure, a communication may constitute an abuse of the right of submission when it is submitted five years after the exhaustion of domestic remedies by the author of the communication, or, where applicable, three years from the conclusion of another procedure of international investigation or settlement, unless there are reasons justifying the delay, taking into account all the circumstances of the communication in force after 2012. The author states that the submission was delayed because of the severe psychological trauma caused by the alleged violations, the persecution of his co-representative, and fear for his relatives who have remained in Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, the Committee considers that the author has failed to provide a convincing explanation for the delay in the submission, that the author did not offer any explanations as to the fear of his or his family’s prosecution in the following years, and considers that submitting the communication after such a long lapse of time constitutes an abuse of the right of submission, declaring the communication inadmissible.
Committee members Hélène Tigroudja and Arif Bulkan submitted a joint opinion stating their disagreement with the way in which the majority of the Committee calculated the passage of time and assessed the explanation provided by the author regarding the delayed submission of his communication. The Committee relied on the dates of the facts at the basis of the claims and the date of the “initial submission” to the Committee, whereas rule 99(c) refers rather to the exhaustion of domestic remedies (or international proceedings if applicable). In that regard, the author explained that there were no formal domestic remedies to exhaust in relation to his claims and in view of the chain of events that unfolded after the events. Moreover, from the moment he fled Uzbekistan until his application before the Committee, the author did not remain inactive. The Committee members are of the opinion that the Committee should have declared the communication admissible and, on the merits, the facts amount to a violation of articles 6, 7, 9 and 12 of the Covenant, read alone and in conjunction with the lack of remedies and investigation under article 2 (3).
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