ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2018.05.10

View Adopted: 2022.07.15

Momtali Yusupov et. al. v. Kyrgyzstan

Torture and mistreatment of group of authors during the June 2010 events

Substantive Issues
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Fair trial
  • Lack of proper investigation
  • Torture / ill-treatment
Relevant Articles
  • Article 10.1
  • Article 14.1
  • Article 14.3 (b)
  • Article 14.3 (d)
  • Article 14.3 (e)
  • Article 14.3 (g)
  • Article 2.3
  • Article 7
  • Article 9.1
Full Text


The cases originated from the events of 10 to 14 June 2010, when the inter-ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups took place in the south of Kyrgyzstan. More than 470 people were killed, and properties destroyed, with most of the victims and damaged properties belonging to members of the Uzbek minority. The criminal prosecutions that followed these events were marked by reports of human rights abuses against detainees and defendants.

The authors are eight nationals of Kyrgyzstan who were all detained, tortured, and tried at different times and places as a result of criminal investigations into the events of the so-called “SANPA” case. The authors were eventually found guilty of the charges and sentenced to life imprisonment and confiscation of their property. All their complaints to courts were dismissed.

The authors claimed to be victims of violations of their rights under article 7 (torture and lack of effective investigation of torture), read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3) (remedies), article 9 (1) (arbitrary detention), article 10 (1) (conditions of detention), article 14 (1) and 14 (3) (b), (d), (g) and (e) (fair trial) of the Covenant.


The Committee noted that the authors had exhausted the available remedies and had sufficiently substantiated their claims under article 7, read separately and in conjunction with article 2 (3), and articles 9 (1), 10 (1) and 14 (1), 14 (3) (b), (d), (g) and (e) of the Covenant for the purposes of admissibility, except the claims regarding the impartiality and fairness of the court proceedings under the article 14 (1) of the Covenant.


The Committee noted the statements from the authors detailing the torture they suffered while in detention and their numerous complaints, which were ignored. The Committee noted therefore that the investigation into the allegations of torture was not carried out effectively or that any suspects were identified, despite detailed reports from the authors, witness statements, and a medical report indicating findings of torture. Further, the Committee noted the absence of any pertinent explanation from the State party regarding the authors’ whereabouts during the time in question, the conditions of their detention and the record of their arrest. The Committee further concluded that the State party applied a disproportionate restriction on the authors’ rights to a fair and public hearing and the right to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of defence. It further observed that the trial was characterised by a number of irregularities, such as disorder and violence caused by the relatives of victims attending the trial. The Committee finally noted that the authors further were not able to call witnesses on their behalf, as the witnesses, who were called, were threatened by the relatives of the victims. The Committee decided not to examine the authors’ claims under article 10 (1) of the Covenant. Therefore, the Committee concluded that there was a violation by the State party of article 7 read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3), and of articles 9 (1), 14 (1), (3) (b) (d) (g) and (e), of the Covenant.


The State party is obligated to take appropriate steps to:

  • (a) quash the authors’ convictions and, if necessary, conduct a new trial, in accordance with the principles of fair hearings, presumption of innocence and other procedural safeguards;
  • (b) conduct a prompt and effective investigation into the torture allegations of the authors and to prosecute and punish those found responsible;
  • (c) provide the authors with adequate compensation for the violations of their rights;
  • (d) prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.


Deadline: 15 January 2023

More information on the case:

Amnesty International Public Statement It seems that justice will never come: failure to investigate the June 2010 violence and its aftermath in Kyrgyzstan (refworld.org)

Centre for Defenders Human Rights, Report “The role of the public authorities during the June events of 2010 in Kyrgyzstan” Report (osce.org)

Human Rights Watch Distorted Justice: Kyrgyzstan’s Flawed Investigations and Trials on the 2010 Violence | HRW

By: Anna Gorodetskaya

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