Mihra Rittmann

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The human rights activist Azimjon Askarov during a courtroom hearing in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2016. (Vladimir Voronin/AP file)

Azimjon Askarov, a human rights defender from Kyrgyzstan, may have died in prison on Saturday after contracting pneumonia, but it really was the cruel human rights abuses that ultimately got him. Prison officials confirmed the cause of death, but we must be very clear: What killed Askarov was 10 years of human rights violations compounded by cowardice, cruelty and negligence on the part of Kyrgyz authorities.

Askarov, a member of the ethnic Uzbek minority in Kyrgyzstan, was 69 years old. Before he was jailed, he documented and reported on police abuse of detainees and prison conditions in his hometown of Bazar-Korgon, in southern Kyrgyzstan.…  Seguir leyendo »