I was in a position of power and responsibility, in a country that had an appalling human rights record.
I had a direct and active role in that, from writing the country’s constitution to leading the UN Human Rights Council.
I was responsible for a government that had been accused of systematic violations of human rights and of carrying out arbitrary and unlawful executions.
In the years that followed, I was accused of complicity in the systematic abuses, torture and extrajudicial killings.
The allegations against me were so powerful, so widely spread, that I was called an accomplice of the “deep state”.
The country’s then president, the then-Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, was a former head of the police, a former minister of security, a minister of justice, and a leader of a ruling party that had recently been ousted from power by mass protests.
“It’s a crime for me to be accused of crimes that have not been proven, but it’s also a crime to have to deal with them,” I told Amnesty International in a 2013 interview.
“It’s like a double-edged sword, it’s an injustice.
I am accused of committing a crime, but then I have to face that I am the perpetrator.
This is why I decided to go public with this story.”
In February 2017, the government charged me with complicity in crimes against humanity.
In August 2017, I appealed the charges and the sentence was upheld.
The next day, in September 2017, Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict.
A month later, the Constitutional Court rejected my appeal and the next day upheld the guilty verdict.
It is the highest court in Uzbekistan.
I lost my freedom, but I won my rights, said Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Paul Anderton.
The prosecution argued that the prosecution of me had been politically motivated.
A former president who was in power at the time of the investigation and who had been implicated in the murder of the Uzbek journalist was being tried for his own crimes, the prosecution argued.
The case has a chilling effect on any human rights activist, who is accused of a crime by a government he or she is trying to investigate, said Anderlin.
I’m worried about my safety, I’m concerned about my health, I am worried about the impact that my story might have on people who are already feeling fearful, Anderson said.
The ruling, according to the Amnesty International statement, has the potential to create “a chilling effect in the future.”
I’ve been charged with a crime.
If this case goes to trial, I could be in jail for a long time, I have a very difficult life, I may be killed by the authorities.
That could be a very, very serious problem.
The charges against me have not yet been proven and the charges against the government have not even been proven.
The prosecution argues that I had “committed a crime” by publishing the document I was forced to sign and by publishing it without authorisation.
In this case, the indictment alleges that I “engaged in unlawful activity” that resulted in the killing of the journalist.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
I was forced into this position because of my work with human rights, Aderson said, adding that it is an absolute disgrace that in 2016 Uzbekistan made the most egregious human rights abuse in history.
In 2016, the country also executed dozens of journalists and human rights defenders.
In January 2018, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) condemned Uzbekistan for its treatment of journalist Anderdon, calling the sentence “cruel and inhuman”.
Amnesty International has also expressed grave concerns about the case of Khairul Abdi, a human right defender who was sentenced to life imprisonment for publishing a video that was filmed by a member of the public and published on the internet.
Abdi has since been freed.
He was also released from prison in March 2018.
Abdi was a journalist who published a film on the state of Uzbek society that showed police brutality against peaceful protesters.
Abdulla’s release from prison is a major victory for human rights campaigners who have fought to free him, said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International Asia Pacific Director.
Abdi’s release was “hugely significant for our work and we are so grateful that his release has been able to happen”, Dalhuisaid.
I think this case shows that the court in Tashkent can be used to bring justice to those in custody, said Dalhuiss, adding, “The human rights situation in Uzbekis is dire and this case is a huge step forward for the rights of the human rights defence.”
The government’s failure to prosecute me is outrageous, said Karim Sadjad, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.
The Uzbek government has committed grave violations against journalists in recent years