Uzbekistan: Human rights defender Klara Sakharova is harassed and threatened

Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA), International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NRC) and Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) are concerned about the safety of human rights defender Klara Sakharova and call on the authorities to swiftly protect her and her family, investigate the allegations and bring the perpetrator/s to justice.

From 25 May 2024 onwards, activist Klara Sakharova has received messages on her Telegram channel from an anonymous account with the nickname “LONDON” containing threats and obscene insults against her, her son and her mother. “LONDON” also repeatedly mocked the memory of Klara Sakharova’s late brother, orientalist scholar Andrei Kubatin, who was previously accused of treason in 2017 and rehabilitated in 2019.

On 27 May, Sakharova submitted complaints to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Security Service. She urged the authorities to identify and prosecute “LONDON”. To date she has not had a reply.

Reportedly, on 26, 27, and 29 May, Klara Sakharova was constantly followed by a white car, a Chevrolet Nexia-3.

Klara Sakharova has worked to defend the rights of prisoners and torture victims in Uzbekistan for several years. She became involved in human rights work in connection with human rights violations faced by her late brother Andrei Kubatin. Currently, she is working on having compensation awarded to Kurbatin’s son, in connection with his father’s arbitrary detention, torture and other human rights violations at the hands of government representatives.

In May 2020, after reviewing Uzbekistan’s fifth periodic report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the Committee recommended to Uzbekistan to “(g)uarantee the effective protection of independent journalists, government critics and dissidents, human rights defenders and other activists against any action that may constitute harassment, persecution or undue interference in the exercise of their professional activities or of their right to freedom of opinion and expression, and ensure that such acts are thoroughly and independently investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned and that victims are provided with effective remedies” (Para. 45).

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Marius Fossum

Representative in Central AsiaEmail: [email protected]Phone: +7-771-506-4955Twitter: @Marius_Fossum
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Dag A. Fedøy

Director of CommunicationsEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 920 54 309Twitter: @dagfedoy
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