The forensic examination did not confirm that the independent journalist, Bobomurod Abdullayev, was tortured

March 16, 2018

Bobomurod Abdullayev ©2017 PEN International

On March 15, 2018, in Tashkent, the trial against Bobomurod Abdullayev and the three other defendants accused of conspiracy to seize the state power resumed. After Abdullayev’s torture claims, the forensic examination prescribed by the court a week ago to examine Abdullayev has established that there is a scar on his left hand but it is impossible to determine when he got it. That is why the trial will resume.

During the trial, the prosecution pressed charges against the defendants. In short, Bobomurod Abdullayev had been writing biased and defamatory articles under the pseudonym Usman Khaknazarov undermining trust to the Uzbekistani Government and denigrating honor and dignity of top government officials. By doing that, he, allegedly, intended to destabilize the situation within the country, and by exploiting the chaos, organize armed uprisings in some cities of regional significance such as Tashkent, Fergana, and Navoiy. Eventually, Abdullayev together with his accomplices, i.e. a Director General of a textile enterprise, Salayev, a restaurant manager, Olloyorov, and an economics and geography teacher of the school №94, Hayot Nasreddinov, aimed, allegedly, to seize the state power in order to subsequently hand it over to the leader of the opposition party, Erk Mukhammad Salikh.

In his trial speech, Bobomurod Abdullayev claimed that all allegations against him were made up by the SNB [ed. – Uzbek National Security Service] officials. He has also admitted that since 2003, he has been writing under the pseudonym Usman Khaknazarov, yet not all of the articles published under this alias were written by Abdullayev alone.

It was an open trial, so journalists and human rights defenders had an opportunity to watch the trial process.

Having heard the charges against the defendants, as well as the Abdullayev’s statement, the court was adjourned until March 25.