Gulshan Karayeva convicted, and immediately pardoned

Gulshan Karayeva
Last Friday, the Karshi town court pardoned human rights activist Gulshan Karayeva who was convicted and faced three years in prison.

The head of the Kashkadarya Region branch of the Society for Human Rights in Uzbekistan (SHRU), Gulshan Karayeva, was charged under two articles of the Criminal Code – 139 “slander” and 140 “insulting”.

“Given the campaign conducted against me in recent times, the court ruling looks very humane,” Karayeva commented on the ruling.

She said on 13 December she went to court but managed to enter it only at the second attempt. It turned out that she was expected there and Judge Otabek Mustafayev immediately started hearings.

Karayeva pleaded not guilty and provided all the details and twists of the criminal case opened against her and said that the evidence was falsified, while the investigation was biased.

After that Judge Mustafayev decided to apply an amnesty to Karayeva that was declared by the Senate of the Oliy Majlis (the Uzbek parliament) on 5 December in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Uzbek constitution.

“I thank everyone who supported me,” Karayeva said. “I think precisely this support helped to stop the prosecution of me.”

“Serious” punishment

Karayeva learnt on 27 September 2012 that a criminal case had been opened against her when police officers arrived in her house and took her to the town police department.

The police in Karshi accused Karayeva of slandering and insulting her neighbours Oydin Ortikova and Barno Adabayeva, calling them “prostitutes”.

Karayeva said that from the very beginning it was clear that this case had been ordered to the police from on high.

I thank everyone who supported me”

Gulshan Karayeva

The neighbours provided a faked article from the website of the SHRU by adding insults against them and printed it out as evidence.

Based on this article, the police opened a criminal case, although Karayeva did not have previous convictions and according to the law, she should have been first faced administrative charges for slander and insulting.