Akhunov, Pulat

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Pulat Akhunov, deputy chairman of the opposition Birlik (Unity) movement and former deputy to the USSR Supreme Soviet (Amnesty International, 1992).


Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Birlik.

Which stages experienced: not Stage 1   Stage 2   Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2007.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

He has been charged for assault for violating Uzbekistan criminal code (Amnesty International, 1992).

Immediately before his arrest on the assault charge, Pulat Akhunov had served two consecutive 10-day terms of administrative arrest (which can be imposed by a single judge without right of appeal for up to 15 days). The first term was for "abuse of a police officer" and related to an incident when his car was stopped by police for an alleged traffic offence. When that term expired he was immediately given another 10-day term for "fighting with a fellow prisoner". According to Amnesty International these detentions were either fabricated or provoked by the Uzbek authorities (Amnesty International, 1992).

Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death):

He was arrested on 29 July 1992 in Shakhrikhan, Andizhan region (eastern Uzbekistan). He has been charged with assault.According to Amnesty the charges have been fabricated in order to punish Pulat Akhunov for his non-violent political activity in opposition to the Government of Uzbekistan (Amnesty International, 1992).

In January 1992 Pulat Akhunov was the victim of the first of a serious of serious assaults by unknown assailants on prominent members of the Birlik movement and independent journalists. He was attacked at the airport in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, as he arrived to board a flight to Moscow. Three unknown persons assaulted him at the entrance to the departure area of the airport, and fled in a waiting car when bystanders came to his defence (Amnesty International, 1992).

In 2007,  he returned to Uzbekistan in order to update his Uzbek passport.He had travelled to Andijon from Sweden in March 2007 to apply for a new passport, as regulations require citizens to renew their passports at 25 and 45 years of age. Authorities refused to renew the passport, rendering Akhunov unable to return to Sweden. The responsible state bodies took his passport and did not issue a new document to him , which would have allowed him to freely move around the country and travel beyond it. He was  secretly taken out by the security forces of Andijan and deported to neighboring Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek ( Ferghana news, 2008).  The authorities forcibly deported  and abducted Birlik opposition party leader driving him across the border, and dropping him off outside Bishkek without money or identification. Before his deportation, government authorities frequently detained Akhunov when he attempted to leave Andijon Province. He has since returned to Sweden (US Department of State, 2009). 

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident):

In 1994, he was released from prison under the Presidential decree due to international pressure from international organisations and diplomatic pressure from France and Russia (Ferghana news, 2015).

In 1995 he fled to Sweden where he has received political asylum status (24 KG, 2008).

In August 2000,  Pulat Akhunov, the deputy chairman of Birlik and a naturalized Swedish citizen, received a visa to return to Uzbekistan  for an extended visit, which he did the same month (The US Department of State, 2003).

Current status:

He currently  resides in in Sweden.  He is the founder of Association Central Asia and the Anti-Corruption Foundation in Uzbekistan (Ferghana news, 2015).

Press sources:

Amnesty International, 1992. SURAN 24/92 - UZBEKISTAN: PULAT AKHUNOV. September 20, 1992. [Online]. Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur62/003/1992/en/

Ferghana news, 2015. 'Пулат Ахунов. Истоки узбекского самовластья', March 18, 2015. [Online]. Available at: http://www.fergananews.com/articles/8449

US Department of State, 2003. 'Uzbekistan Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor', March 31, 2003. [Online]. Available at: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18400.htm

Ferghana news, 2007. 'Узбекистан: Лидер «Бирлика» Пулат Ахунов лишен узбекского гражданства и депортирован в Кыргызстан', August, 12, 2008.  [Online]. Available at:http://www.fergananews.com/news.php?id=9889 

24 KG., 'Фергана.Ру»: В Кыргызстан из Узбекистана депортирован один из лидеров оппозиционной партии', August, 12, 2008.  [Online]. Available at: https://24.kg/archive/ru/cis/38018-2008/08/12/89687.html/

US Department of State, 2009. 'Uzbekistan. BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices'. [Online]. Available at: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/sca/119143.htm