Jizak-based human rights activist under 15-day arrest

Saida Kurbanova arrested for petty hooliganism
Jizak-based human rights activist Saida Kurbanova has been under arrest since 7 December and her relatives have been refused to visit her and give her warm clothes.

The human rights activist’s son, Soli Kurbanov, on 10 December came to Jizak Region’s Pahtakor district police department, where Saida Kurbanova is kept in custody, to give her warm clothes.

But the deputy head of the police department, Akmal, turned him out, swearing at him with obscene words.

Other relatives of Kurbanova said everything started on 7 December. Police officers rushed into their house at 11:30 in the morning. They started a search and kept shouting: “where is the computer? It will be bad if you don’t give it.”

The police officers’ aggressive behaviour frightened all family members of Kurbanova off, little kids began to cry while adults were taken aback completely.

After failing to find the computer in Kurbanova’s home, police officers came to her nephew’s home where they found and seized her computer.

In response to puzzled questions of the inhabitants of the house, law-enforcement officers said that their bosses ordered them to find and bring Saida Kurbanova’s computer.

They said the human rights activist was put under arrest in the morning of that day.

Police officers told the stunned relatives that Kurbanova was sentenced to 15 days of arrest under Article 183 “Disorderly conduct” of the Uzbek Code of Administrative Offence.

Policemen did not say anything about the details of the wrongdoing committed by Saida Kurbanova.

At 23:00 on the same day, police officers brought back the case of the computer of Kurbanova’s relatives but its contents were missing.

Since that day, Kurbanova’s relatives have been trying to find out about her condition, send her warm clothes, food, personal hygiene items, but in vain. Policemen at Pahtakor district police department did not allow them in.

The arrest of Kurbanova, a member of the opposition Birdamlik people’s movement of Uzbekistan, could be linked to opposition members’ plan to mark the 20th anniversary of the country’s constitution on 8 December.

On that day, Kurbanova and other Birdamlik members were going to conduct a quiz on the knowledge of the constitution outside the Alay market in the centre of Tashkent.

But the country’s authorities did not allow them to mark Constitution Day. Many activists of the movement and other people who joined them in Tashkent and regions were temporarily detained or blocked in their homes.

Kurbanova’s relatives are asking for help. The uncertainty about Saida Kurbanova’s condition is alarming them, they said.