A criminal case opened against Karshi-based human rights activist Gulshan Karayeva includes online articles, among which is the Uznews.net article “How much does it ‘cost’ to provide info for Uzbek security service?”
“I learnt about it only yesterday when I asked my lawyer to find out which materials had been used in the case,” the head of the Kashkadarya Region branch of the Society for Human Rights in Uzbekistan (SHRU), Gulshan Karayeva, said.
It turned out that the case now contained a pile of articles published on various websites in defence of Karayeva.
For example, the article “How much does it ‘cost’ to provide info for Uzbek security service?” reported that the human rights activist had been beaten up for refusing to cooperate with the SNB and had found all kinds of insults written on the gate of her home.
Karayeva did not write these articles which is why she is now puzzled about their relation
|I have nothing to do with any party and I am involved exclusively in human rights activities within the laws of Uzbekistan”"|
to her case.
“Perhaps, authorities want to teach me to stop giving interviews to journalists,” she suggested.
How to “teach” to stop being honest person
Many circumstances suggest that authorities want to “teach” Karayeva using the law.
The very fact of opening a criminal case against her because the activist allegedly slandered and insulted her neighbours Oydin Ortikova and Barno Adabayeva by calling them “prostitutes”.
“The neighbours ‘cheated’ by downloading an article on the SHRU’s website, added few phrases with insults against them on computer, printed it out and in such form presented it to police,” Karayeva said.
The activist believes the Uzbek National Security Service (SNB) is behind her neighbours.
“Only in this case could both prosecutor’s office and court agree to violate the law blatantly – I do not have previous conviction which is why for slander and insult I should be been made answerable for an administrative office,” Karayeva said.
Karayeva is now charged with two articles of the Criminal Code: 139 “slander” and 140 “insult” which entail up to three years in prison.
“I will still fight”
Authorities drove Karayeva into such a state that she tried to commit suicide with her centenary grandmother Bibisulov on 1 December by public self-immolation.
At the same time, Karayeva is not some kind of “dangerous” political opposition member.
“I have nothing to do with any party and I am involved exclusively in human rights activities within the laws of Uzbekistan,” she said.
Most likely, the reason for attacks against Karayeva is precisely her human rights activities that publicise lawlessness in the region.
The SHRU’s president, Abdujalil Boymatov, who is living in exile in Ireland, said “authorities are hunting the remaining few people who are capable of telling what is happening in Uzbekistan and how people are living there from within the country”.
However, Karayeva is not going to give in. “I will still be fighting for the observance of laws and human rights,” she said.