The issue of illegal actions by some police officers, including torture cases, resurfaced after a man died allegedly due to torture in the Department of Internal Affairs of the Buka district of the Tashkent region.

The nationwide movement “Yuksalish” published 10 recommendations to eliminate torture in the internal affairs system, based on the opinion of the public and experts.

“The issue of transforming the internal affairs bodies into a people-centred and humane system remains high on the state’s agenda,” the movement stated. “Such cases contradict the principles of humanity and the priority of human dignity,” Yuksalish noted.

“Yuksalish” recommendations

1. The Ministry of Internal Affairs should provide the public with detailed information about recent events and a clear plan to eradicate torture in the system.

2. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and its leadership should inform the public personally about every case of torture and other incidents that degrade human dignity and honour.

3. The practice of providing a receipt to a person detained on suspicion of a crime, explaining their rights in simple terms, should be made compulsory.

4. The law should guarantee the right of a person detained on suspicion of a crime to meet with a prosecutor immediately upon request.

5. An online database should be created to ensure that arrested (detained) persons are held in official places of detention and that information about their whereabouts is open to interested parties, including relatives, friends and public organisations.

6. A bill should be introduced to Parliament as soon as possible to make it an offence to fail to apply the “Miranda rule” upon detaining a person.

7. A permanent mechanism should be developed within the national preventive mechanism to organise monitoring visits by public representatives to temporary detention facilities and places of detention of internal affairs bodies.

8. The system of recruitment, training and retraining of internal affairs staff should be revised, especially the knowledge of the relevant staff of the rights of participants in criminal proceedings, as well as stress testing of their psychological state.

9. Public councils should be established under each state body that has the authority to detain and hold in custody, and mechanisms should be developed for regular public consultations and monitoring by the councils on ensuring and respecting human rights in the activities of the relevant state body.

10. Open and mobile court hearings should be organised in cases of torture, humiliation of honour and dignity of a person, which caused public outrage, and the practice of online broadcasting them through the media should be widely implemented.

The Ombudsman’s office said earlier, “The incident in the Buka district yesterday shows that torture is still tolerated in investigations.

The statement describes torture as a “disease of the society’s body” that requires transparency in the MIA system to cure. “Suspects or defendants should not be beaten and die during interrogations and investigations,” the statement stresses.

The statement said, “Torture is a violation of fundamental human rights. [It is] an act aimed at destroying a person and has a lasting psychological impact on them.”

Last November, following the tragic death of a 15-year-old boy within the premises of the DIA building in Kokand, prominent blogger and publicist Shokir Sharipov held a picket calling for the resignation of Interior Minister Pulat Bobojonov. Sharipov highlighted the lack of significant reforms within the Ministry in recent years and emphasized the alarming occurrences of fatalities within the premises of Internal Affairs bodies.