Parliamentary Commission begins investigation in Karakalpakstan
The commission of inquiry into the events in Karakalpakstan will begin its work on Saturday. It consists of senators, deputies, representatives of Karakalpakstan, and NGOs. It will study the cases of violations of human rights and freedoms. Members of the parliamentary commission to conduct an independent inquiry into the facts and events of early July in Karakalpakstan will go to the republic and begin their work on Saturday, July 16. This was reported by the press service of the Ombudsman. The commission was formed a day earlier by a joint decision of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis. It was chaired by Ombudsman Feruza Eshmatova who on Friday addressed both chambers of the Parliament on the issue of ensuring human rights and freedoms in Karakalpakstan. The commission's tasks include a detailed study of violations of human rights, freedoms, and legitimate interests with documentation and audio, photo, and video recordings of its work. The report on the results of the study will be submitted to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis. The Ministry of Finance was instructed to cover all the costs of the commission's activities from the state budget. The commission consists of 14 people. Besides the Ombudsman and the commission's secretary from the Ombudsman's office Temurbek Hayitov, members are MPs Alisher Kadirov - Deputy speaker of the Legislative Chamber and leader of the Milliy Tiklanish party, Bobur Bekmurodov - Head of the Nationwide National Movement "Juksalish", and Dilrabo Khalbaeva - Chair of the non-governmental nonprofit organization "Committee for Human Rights Protection of Uzbekistan". The commission includs senators Anvar Tuychiev - representative of the Committee for International Relations, Foreign Economic Relations, Foreign Investments and Tourism, Gavhar Durdiyeva, and Abatbay Daniyarov - Deputy Chair of the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan. From Karakalpakstan members include Elizaveta Kutybaeva - Dean of the law department of Karakalpak State University named after Berdakh, Kenes Raimov - Chairman of the Writers' Union of Karakalpakstan, and Jenisbay Shlymbetov - regional representative of the Republic's Ombudsman. The commission also includes several representatives of NGOs: Bekhzod Sharipov - Head of the international non-governmental organization "Regional Dialogue", Ahzamjon Farmonov - Head of the non-governmental human rights organization "Hukukiy Tayanch" ("Right Guard"), Gulnoz Mamarasulova - Director of the Swedish NGO "Association of Central Asia". "The results of the investigation will be made public and communicated to the public of Uzbekistan and the international community," the Ombudsman's office said in a statement. On 1-2 July there were mass demonstrations in Nukus. They began on the day of the detention of the journalist Dauletbai Tazhimuratov. They were preceded by several days of solitary and collective appeals from Karakalpakstan residents protesting against constitutional amendments to articles 70-75. The authorities did not react to the speeches, but internet access was restricted in the republic. The demonstrations degenerated into riots in which 18 people died and 243 were injured, including 38 law enforcement officers. On July 4, 94 people were reported to be in hospitals, some critically wounded. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Nukus on 2 July and said the amendments concerning Karakalpakstan would be revoked. On 6 July, he said that a fair assessment should be given to the actions of all participants in the events. If the power structures exceeded force, they should also be held accountable, he stressed.