Judges in Kyrgyzstan urged to be impartial

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Navi Pillay

Judges in Kyrgyzstan have been urged to do their work within the country's constitution and international human rights standards.

The call has come from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, after the Kyrgyz Supreme Court upheld the conviction and life sentence of a human rights activist.

Gerry Adams reports.

Azimjan Askarov, the director of Vozdukh, a human rights organisation in Kyrgyzstan was convicted for the murder of a police officer and incitement to inter-ethnic hatred.

The charges are related to the clashes between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities in the Jalal-Abad region in June 2010.

Ms. Pillay says the arrest of Mr. Askarov is believed to be related to his peaceful activities as a human rights defender, particularly his documentation of inter-ethnic violence.

He and his seven co-defendants, she adds, have reportedly been tortured by police on several occasions and denied a fair trial.

Ms. Pillay says over 5,000 recent legal cases in the country have not been fair.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 47″

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