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Kyrgyzstan: UPDATE - Upcoming final hearing in the Supreme Court Appeal of human rights defender Mr Azimjan Askarov
Further to the Front Line Urgent Appeal dated 24 January 2011 and subsequent updates, Front Line has received the following new information concerning the ongoing Supreme Court appeal of human rights defender Mr Azimjan Askarov:
The final hearing in Azimjan Askarov's Supreme Court Appeal against his sentence of life imprisonment is due to be held on 12 April 2011. It is believed that this hearing may be the last chance to have Azimjan Askarov's innocence vindicated.
Azimjan Askarov was accused of complicity in the murder of a Kyrgyz policeman during the ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010. He was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on 15 September 2010, following a trial which lacked almost any semblance of fair trial guarantees in accordance with Kyrgyz or international standards. His sentence was later confirmed on initial appeal. The Kyrgyz Human Rights Ombudsman, Mr Tursunbek Akun, who carried out a parallel investigation, stated that there was no evidence to link Ajimjan Askarov to the crime of which he is accused, and that the charges against him were clearly politically motivated.
On 7 March 2011, Azimjan Askarov was awarded People in Need's 2011 "Homo Homini" award, which is presented each year to exceptional individuals who have made a significant contribution to promotion of human rights and democracy.
For further information, please find attached the most recent Front Line Appeal in relation to this case. Subsequent updates can be accessed at:Previous Front Line item on this case and Further update on this appeal
Azimjan Askarov's case is one of ten emblematic cases included in Front Line's 10 on the 10th campaign. His campaign page can be found at:Front Line 10 on the 10th Campaign