03/08/2018, 12.28

Tashkent court to investigate torture of a journalist

He has been accused of sedition. As of November, judges can no longer accept evidence obtained through coercion. Activists: positive turn.

Tashkent (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Tashkent Court will investigate allegations of torture by a reporter against the secret services. The trial of journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev is considered by human rights activists as a "litmus test" for President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's reforms.

Yesterday, during the first hearing of the trial that sees him indicted with sedition, the journalist took off his shirt to show the remaining signs of the violence he suffered. The journalist was arrested by the secret services (SNB) in late September on charges of having produced seditious material in order to overthrow the government.

Abdullayev claims to have been subjected to brutal treatment in the period immediately following his arrest. "They hit him on the back, legs and on the left arm with a plastic tube a meter long. The worst torture was when they forced him to spend six days without sleep ... they did not allow him to sit or lie down ", writes his lawyer, Sergei Mayorov. "The third form of torture was the beatings on the back and the head with a computer cable". The violence lasted until November 5, and they were such that yesterday the journalist still carried signs on his left arm.

The request for medical evaluation and examination of Abdullayev's statements was made by his attorney, supported by the attorney general and approved by Judge Zafar Nurmatov. The magistrate accepted the request by recalling a Mirziyoyev decree last November, which prevents the courts from relying on evidence extracted by torture.

Abdurahmon Tashanov, human rights activist of the Ezgulik group, applauded the decision, saying it was a "positive turn" and that "as a rule, the court does not consider the demands of the defendant or lawyers on the use of torture".

Recently, President Mirziyoyev lashed out at the secret services, calling them "crazy dogs" and announcing that he wanted to put an end to their power by bringing those who were stained with torture to justice.

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