Jizzakh human rights activist Uktam Pardayev is seriously concerned for his own safety and the safety of his family. On February 24, Pardayev told Uzbek-German Forum (UGF) that over the past week, he and his family members have been under surveillance.
This follows the ongoing court case brought against him by the Jizzakh authorities which alleges that Pardayev illegally took possession of publicly-owned land surrounding his house. Evidence presented by Pardayev’s lawyer shows the inadmissibility of the case which has been postponed until February 26.
In a letter to UGF, the human rights activist wrote:
“On February 21 two men in plain clothes observed my house. They even climbed onto my wall in order to get a better view of what was going on inside. Two cars were parked outside my house. One was a white Nexia 2 with the number plate 25 K 774 DA and the other a dark grey colored Gentra Lasetti with the number plate 25 205 HAA.”
“On February 24, a white Nexia followed me. When I stopped at the kerb, they drove on for a hundred meters and then also stopped. They go out, looked in my direction and spoke about something,” he wrote.
Pardayev filmed them on his mobile phone and was able to identify one of them.
“In October 2012, while I was monitoring the cotton harvest, I was detained for 15 days. Two officers of the regional police department entered the prison cell and threatened me. One of them was in this car,” said Pardayev.
The human rights activist also reported that the authorities have told his friends not to communicate with him, alleging that he is a danger and an enemy of the people.
“I am appealing to international organizations and embassies of democratic countries in the Republic of Uzbekistan – to protect me and my family», said human rights activist Uktam Pardayev.
The Jizzakh hokimiyat is also demanding that Pardayev demolish a wall he had built around his house, claiming that he has illegally taken ownership of publicly-owned land.
In December 2018, Pardayev found that the city authorities had filed a claim against him in a civil court. The claim, signed by the mayor of Jizzakh city, Akbar Shukurov, alleged that Pardayev had illegally built a wall around his private property, and thus had taken illegal possession of over 25 square meters of state land. The mayor requested that the court order the dismantling of the wall.
Pardayev said, “I have lived on this property with my family for five years. The hokimiyat filed a lawsuit in court. I built my house in strict accordance with the cadastral documents”.
Last year, on December 17 in Pardayev’s absence, the judge of the Jizzakh civil court, Oybek Shomurodov, upheld the claim of the city authorities and ordered the dismantling of the wall surrounding the property. The court also ordered Pardayev to pay legal fees of approximately $100.
The summons to the court hearing, which took place on Monday, December 17, was brought to Pardayev’s house in Jizzakh on Friday, December 14, when he was in Tashkent to attend a meeting with ILO Director General Guy Ryder.
Pardayev argues that the claim of the city authorities that he illegally seized public land is completely untenable. This was verified by the official conclusion of the state cadastral service obtained by Pardayev’s lawyer on February 13, which confirmed that the properties were built in accordance with the cadastral documents.
According to Pardayev, a commission appointed by the court on February 11 went to his house where they took measurements that confirmed that the wall was built according to the cadastral documents.
Confident of his case, Pardayev then filed an appeal to reverse the court decision.
On February 19, the second court hearing was held at which Pardayev’s lawyer presented all the documents which entirely refute the claim of the city authorities. However, “despite the fact that the evidence submitted proved the inadmissibility of the claim, the court made no decision and postponed the hearings until February 26,” Pardayev told Uzbek-German Forum.