The investigation of the case of the Jizzakh human rights activist Uktam Pardayev is deadlocked. The investigator of the Dustlik district police department (Jizzakh region) Orif Anorbaev has questioned about 100 people who had sought assistance of Uktam Pardayev in order to find out whether any of them had paid money for his advice. The investigation did not give any evidence that the human rights activist had extorted money.
This was reported by the Chairman of the Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan (IGIHRDU) Surat Ikramov.
“It appears that the investigation into the custom-made case was deadlocked, as no facts or evidence of a violation of articles 168 and 211 of the Criminal Code could be revealed,” reads the press release IGIHRDU.
Uktam Pardayev was arrested at his home on November 16 after being denounced by a woman claiming that the human rights activist had extorted money from residents in the Jizzakh region, who had appealed to him for help. Uktam Pardayev was charged with fraud, for accepting bribes, allegedly offering his help to people in exchange of a fee.
The local authorities have been hating Uktam Pardayev for his open criticism in the media, the Uzbek intelligence agencies have been persecuting him, and he has repeatedly warned his colleagues that employees of the National Security Service of Uzbekistan might try to bring about a criminal case against him.
The arrest of the human rights activist Uktam Pardayev is a continuation of the policy of intimidating activists who are trying to resist the arbitrariness of the Uzbek authorities.