On Kyrgyz Human Rights Activist Azimjon Askarov | Statement to the PC

A TV camera positioned in front of a backdrop with OSCE logos prior to a news conference at the Hofburg in Vienna. (OSCE, Mikhail Evstafiev)

The United States respects the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee published on April 21 in response to the complaint submitted by human rights activist Azimjon Askarov.

We also note the recent statement regarding Mr. Askarov by OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Director Michael Link. ODIHR monitored parts of Mr. Askarov’s trial and the subsequent appeals, and has repeatedly raised concerns about the absence of necessary procedural and substantive protections during that process.

All OSCE participating States have committed to ensuring that individuals receive fair and impartial trials, and to protecting those human rights recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We therefore encourage the Kyrgyz Republic to consider the opinion of the UN Human Rights Committee, and we hope the report may facilitate a positive way forward on this matter.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna