Investigate Death of Jailed Human Rights Champion Reportedly Tortured in Captivity

Target: Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of Kyrgyzstan

Goal: Investigate and apologize for death of human rights activist in Kyrgyzstan.

Azimzhan Askarov, a noted journalist, human rights campaigner, and advocate for prisoners and victims of police violence, died at the age of 69 while serving a life sentence on trumped-up charges. Askarov gained attention during ehtnic clashes in 2010, during which hundreds of civilians were killed. Much of his work focused on the possible involvement of Kyrgyz security and police forces in the murders.

In an apparently politically motivated arrest, Askarov was charged with involvement in the death of a police officer near his hometown. During the trial, he and other activists claimed that they had been tortured and beaten while in captivity. After a trial in which evidence was suppressed or ignored and people in the courtroom physically assaulted Askarov and his lawyers, seemingly without the intervention of police, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Despite calls for his release for years, Askarov was kept under lock and key. At the time of his death, he was denied a release on compassionate grounds, and died alone, with no family members or friends nearby.

Kyrgyzstan has a duty to investigate and apologize for Askarov’s death. Sign the petition below to hold them accountable.


Dear President Jeenbekov,

The tragic death of Azimzhan Askarov, alone and caged, could have been avoided with compassionate treatment. Mr. Askarov spent his life fighting for the rights of his Kyrgyzstanis, only to be cruelly imprisoned in a blatant denial of his own human rights. In his final moments, he wasn’t even allowed the company of his wife.

Your government now has an obligation to investigate Askarov’s death and apologize to his family, his friends, and all of the people of Kyrgyzstan. You cannot allow this type of cruel injustice to occur again.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alisher Siddiq

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