TurkmenistanUzbekistan

Investigators tortured and forced my testimony

Shukhrat Juraev, a 35-year-old teacher from Furkat District, Fergana Region, told Ozodlik that district police investigators beat, insulted and tortured him in an attempt to force him to confess guilt for stealing a school computer. Juraev claims that the investigators forced him to bend one leg, stretch his arms forward and stand on one leg. The officer on duty of the Furkat District Department of Internal Affairs refused to answer the questions of the journalist “Ozodlik” regarding the accusations of the school teacher against the district police investigators.

Shukhrat Dzhuraev, who works as a physical education teacher at specialized secondary school # 34 in Furkat district of Fergana region, told Ozodlik that the theft of a computer from the school took place on June 26 this year.

A day after the incident, police officers took Dzhuraev away from his home to the police station, claiming that he was a suspect in stealing a school computer.

In a conversation with an Ozodlik journalist, Juraev says that the investigators who beat him were in civilian clothes, so he does not know their titles, but he was able to remember the name of one of them.

– An investigator named Vakhit, about 35 years old, in civilian clothes, took me to his office. There he demanded that I read out loudly one of the articles of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan. What article it was, I don’t remember. This article said that I could be released if I made amends. The investigator told me: “This article is just about you, make up for the damage, and then you can safely walk free.” Then another guy entered his office and slandered me, claiming that the fingerprints belonged to me. Then one of these investigators asked me to go out into the corridor. In the corner of this corridor was a small room. They took me there and started beating me. Both investigators wore civilian clothes. Vakhit also beat me. He hit me in the neck and chest, kicked me in the legs. His blows were very strong. I was exhausted after their beatings, – says Shukhrat Dzhuraev.

The physical education teacher claims that the officers of the Furkat District Department of Internal Affairs did not confine themselves to only beatings and forced him to bend one leg, stretch his arms forward and stand on one leg for some time.

“They told me,” Do 20 squats. ” Then they demanded that I bend one leg, stretch my arms forward and stand on one leg for five minutes. “You will either tell me where you hid the computer and who your accomplice is, or you will continue to stand on one leg.” Then one of them took me to another room and said: “Sit a little and come to your senses.” After that he left the room, and before that he told me: “You won’t get out of here, you will sit here,” physical education teacher Shukhrat Dzhuraev told the Ozodlik journalist.

According to him, an hour and a half later the investigator returned to the office and spoke to him in a respectful tone.

– The investigator entered the office and began to address me as “you.” “It turns out that you have been working at this school since 2007, help us. Your house is also located next to the school, “the investigator told me, and then let me go home,” said physical education teacher Shukhrat Dzhuraev.

Beaten by covering the CCTV cameras

In a conversation with Ozodlik, Shukhrat Dzhuraev recalls that CCTV cameras were installed in the investigator’s office, where he was bullied.

– There were CCTV cameras, let them check them. But I don’t know if these cameras were working. One of them tried to block the camera, and the other beat me. It seems to me that they knew which corner of the office the CCTV camera does not capture. Because they hit me exactly from that side. Therefore, I ask you to check these CCTV cameras, ”says Shukhrat Dzhuraev.

After returning home, he began to feel sick and had to call an ambulance.

– At 9 pm that day, I called an ambulance home. The doctors arrived. They said my blood pressure had increased to 180/110. I told them that I felt chest pain. They asked the reason. I told them about what had happened at the police station. The doctors said that I should go with them. They took me to the medical association of the Furkat region. X-ray and EGC were done. The results came out only in the morning. My elder brother took me away from the hospital. But when I returned home, I felt bad again, then the ambulance took me to the hospital again. There I was given an injection, I felt a little better, after which I returned home again. Then I learned that the ambulance doctors reported my situation to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutors met with me and wrote down everything from my words. They ordered an examination, the results of which have not yet been released. I was told that the results of the examination would only be issued to the prosecutor’s office staff, ”Shukhrat Dzhuraev, a physical education teacher from Furkat district, told Ozodlik.

Now he is demanding punishment of the district police officers who beat and tortured him.

On July 28, the prosecutor’s office of the Furkat region informed our journalist that a pre-investigation check was being carried out at the time of Dzhuraev’s application.

However, the Department of Internal Affairs of the Furkat region, having learned that they were calling from the editorial office of Ozodlik, cut off their phone.

Police violence incidents

Over the past month and a half, Ozodlik reported more than ten cases of the use of physical force by law enforcement officials against citizens.

The most resonant case occurred at the beginning of last month in the city of Andijan.

Death of 32-year-old A. Abdukarimov in the Andijan branch of the Republican Scientific Center for Emergency Medical Aid (RSCEMP), social networks were shaken. A young man was taken to this medical facility on May 30 this year with traces of torture on his body from the 4th department of the Department of Internal Affairs. Torture was used against Abdukarimov at the police station. From his injuries, he died without leaving a coma in an emergency medical center.

After this tragic incident, an action began in the Uzbek segment of social networks demanding the resignation of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan, Pulat Babadjanov.

At least two members of the Oliy Majlis (parliament) have also demanded the resignation of Minister Babadjanov.

Some deputies came up with a proposal to carry out large-scale and structural changes in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Recall that in 2017, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyayev signed the law “On the Internal Affairs Bodies”, which prohibits an employee of the internal affairs bodies from resorting to torture, violence and other cruel or degrading treatment.

However, despite this, the editorial office of “Ozodlik” continues to receive complaints about the use of torture and violence by employees of the internal affairs bodies.

Impunity

Abdurakhman Tashanov, head of the Ezgulik Human Rights Society based in Tashkent, believes that the problem of torture and ill-treatment persists also because in most cases the guilty law enforcement officers manage to avoid punishment.

“Even the president promised to completely eradicate torture in Uzbekistan. However, the guilty law enforcement officers manage to avoid real punishment, or pay off with a minor fine. There may be many more cases that we do not know about. Perhaps many of the guilty employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs managed to escape punishment. We do not know about this, ”said human rights activist Tashanov.

Recall that after the death from torture of a resident of Andijan A. Abdukarimov, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic reported on the arrest and initiation of a criminal case against three police officers, five officers were dismissed and 19 people were brought to disciplinary measures.

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