Kyrgyzstan Tahir Asanov attacked in courtroom
25 October 2010

Kyrgyzstan Tahir Asanov attacked in courtroom

Kyrgyz lawyer Tahir Asanov was attacked and punched several times in court on 30 September 2010 whilst calling for an investigation into police brutality against his client and nine other men during their trial in Osh, in the southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic. The charges against these men range from involvement in the death of the Kara Suu District Police Chief to taking part in riots, both of which took place during the June 2010 violence in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Reportedly, during a trial hearing on 29 September 2010, Mr. Asanov’s client and nine other men were being held in a steel cage inside the courtroom when, during a break in the trial, several uniformed officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) entered the cage and beat them for about twenty minutes. The courtroom guards unlocked the cage for the officers and stood by while the assault took place. The only other witnesses at this time were relatives of the dead police chief. The officers left the cage threatening to kill Mr. Asanov’s client and nine other men if they told anyone about these beatings.

As Mr. Asanov requested for an investigation into the abovementioned event during the next hearing on 30 September 2010, it is said that Mr. Asanov was attacked in court by relatives of the murdered police chief who were present in the courtroom. Courtroom officials were slow to intervene and the judge did not attempt to restore order or expel the perpetrators. After the court hearing, relatives of the murdered police chief followed Mr. Asanov outside the courtroom and attacked him, beating him for about ten minutes. Police were present, but did not intervene.

L4L organized a letter writing campaign to support the lawyer and call upon the authorities to ensure his and his client’s safety (you can find the example letters that were sent at the time here).

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